It is obvious that there is little expectation of Doug Ford earning another go at governing Ontario. His failing foray with the conservatives is attracting more candidates to the leadership of the Ontario liberals, to be decided in December this year. The latest candidate prepared to slap down $125,000 in entrance fees is federal liberal MP Yasir Naqvi from Ottawa-Centre electoral district.
The provincial liberal leadership race might also be starting to say more about the Ottawa situation than just Ontario. Of the four liberals who are in the race or still investigating being in the race, two are federal liberal MPs. Both well respected by rank-and-file liberals. They might be prematurely deserting a sinking ship.
But this is one of the times that the provincial need is for creativity and leadership. The numbers of liberals registered in the provincial liberal list is set to be increased by every new entry. Liberal-minded voters will all be looking for a strong progressive platform, a leader who can attract progressive candidates across the province, and a leader with the drive, enthusiasm and energy to lead the party to victory in 2026.
Give Naqvi credit for ambition as he wants to ensure that all 124 provincial ridings in Ontario are transformed by the new leader. He wants to build a “big tent” party.
Frankly, if the new leader has more empathy for our farmers and is able to address the needs of rural ridings effectively, we would be far ahead of conservatives such as Doug Ford who cannot even tell one end of a cow from the other.
Naqvi joins MP Nathaniel Erskine Smith who currently represents Beaches-East York in Toronto in the Ontario liberal leadership race. The only other fully declared candidate is Ted Hsu MPP for Kingston and the Islands. We are looking forward to learning what Ted is bringing to the party.
At this time, Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie is playing it coy with her unnamed leadership exploratory committee, rather than diving into untested waters. Eventually she will have to make the move but it would force her to resign as mayor. Mind you Naqvi is playing it safe and is not resigning as a member of parliament until the outcome of the leadership race is clear.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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