TORONTO — The deadline for entry in the Ontario Liberal leadership race is Monday at 5 p.m., moving the campaign into its next phase ahead of the March 7 leadership convention.
A series of events are scheduled between now and then, starting with a candidate showcase this week to introduce leadership hopefuls to the party faithful.
Here are the candidates who are in the race thus far:
Michael Coteau — The former child and youth services minister under former premier Kathleen Wynne, Coteau announced he would seek the party leadership earlier this year. Representing the Toronto riding of Don Valley East, the 47-year-old is pledging to eliminate public transit fares as part of his platform. The former school board trustee recently put forward a motion in the Ontario legislature opposing any law that limits religious freedoms. The non-binding resolution, which came in response to Quebec's Bill 21, was endorsed by legislators from all parties.
Steven Del Duca — The 45-year-old former cabinet member held the roles of economic development minister and transportation minister in Wynne's government before losing his Vaughan, Ont., seat last spring. Del Duca has an extensive history with the party in a variety of roles, including as a political staffer to former finance minister Greg Sorbara. Del Duca has promised that as party leader he would ensure at least 30 candidates are under the age of 30 and commit to having at least half of the slate of 124 be women. His campaign said Monday it has raised more than $227,000.
Mitzie Hunter — The former education minister has promised that a key goal of her leadership would be to knock on a million doors in the run-up to the 2022 election to ensure the Liberals are back in the political mix. Hunter, 48, who represents the Toronto riding of Scarborough-Guildwood, said the party's goals would include raising the high school education rate to 90 per cent, and making it easier for workers to upgrade their skills or obtain new credentials. She has promised to also extend the province's health insurance program to cover mental health care for people under 30.
Kate Graham — The 35-year-old Western University politics instructor ran unsuccessfully for the Liberals in last year's election in a London, Ont.-area riding, where she currently lives. In addition to her academic career and research, Graham also spent a decade as a public servant for the City of London. Graham has been endorsed by several high-profile Liberals including former deputy premier Deb Matthews and former Treasury Board president Eleanor McMahon. Graham, who grew up in Exeter, Ont., is the only person currently in the race who is from outside of the Greater Toronto Area and is also the youngest candidate.
Alvin Tedjo — The former candidate for the party has proposed one of the most controversial ideas of the leadership race — merging the public and Catholic school boards. Tedjo said the measure would save the province $1.6 billion a year and help the government deliver smaller class sizes. Tedjo has worked as a public servant in the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. He was also the director of government relations at Sheridan College and studied at Queen's and Harvard universities.
Brenda Hollingsworth — The Ottawa-based personal injury and criminal defence lawyer entered the race Monday and was still being vetted by the party. Hollingsworth says on her campaign website that she will add a "fresh face" to the party, and promises to improve the province's education and health-care systems while taking action on climate change.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2019.
The Canadian Press