Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is pouring cold water on an idea from one of his backbenchers who wants Toronto to become its own province.

Tory maverick Bill Murdoch says rural Ontario is losing a battle against a Toronto mentality in the provincial government and would be better off if the city were its own province.

Hudak says he wouldn’t support the idea of Toronto as a separate province, but understands where Murdoch is coming from.

He says Murdoch is making a valid point that rural Ontario is being ignored by the Liberal government, and points to the closure of rural emergency rooms and schools as examples.

Hudak says Premier Dalton McGuinty has shown rural Ontario the back of his hand.

Murdoch has always been a rebel, even within his own party, and was suspended from the legislature last year for staging a two-day sit-in to protest the HST.

He was also booted out of the Conservative caucus in 2008 for saying its previous leader, John Tory, should look for a new job, and after posing for a picture with the Liberal caucus.