Northumberland Liberals vote this Saturday — Nov 25 — in Cobourg at the Best Western
Image: (L-R)Yasir Naqvi, Bonnie Crombie, Nate Erskine-Smith & Ted Hsu
Article by Dave Glover
The Ontario Liberal Party’s largest-ever leadership election will come to a decision on Saturday, December 2, 2023, when Liberals gather at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to elect the next leader of the provincial party.
There are 4 candidates vying for the job of party leader. Let me introduce you to them in no specific order.
Up first… Bonnie Crombie
Bonnie Crombie who’s the current Mayor of Mississauga. For those who follow Ontario politics, Ms Crombie is no stranger to politics. For looking for name recognition, she stands out.
As the Mayor of one of Ontario’s largest cities, she’s had her share of run ins with the current Premier of Ontario and has proven herself to be very formidable.
In Bonnie’s own words: “I believe the Ontario Liberal Party is a place where every voice matters. Lifelong and new, idealistic and pragmatic, northern, rural and urban. I believe we, as Ontario Liberals, meet in the middle so we can build a prosperous future for all of us. For two terms, Doug Ford and the Conservatives have rolled back decades of progress in our province. Doug Ford chooses to make his friends richer at your expense. You deserve better.
“As Mayor of Mississauga, I’ve stood up to Doug Ford and the Conservatives, and I’ve won. I want to lead a team of Ontario Liberals that works riding by riding to listen, learn, rebuild, and re-energize local Liberals.”
Next we have… Nathaniel Erskine Smith
Nathaniel Erskine Smith is a different kind of politician. He’s more of a throwback to a time of parliamentary camaraderie, and therefore something of an anomaly.
He has consistently worked across party lines to get things done, and shown that politics can be done differently, collaboratively. Currently, he represents the riding of Beaches-East York in Toronto, and has been elected three times since 2015.
With a track record of grassroots organizing, hard work and integrity, Nate has forged a reputation for independent thinking and a willingness to speak his mind.
Journalists have weighed in on the politician. CBC’s Aaron Wherry has written about Nates independence and different approach to politics. Althia Raj written about his philosophy on free votes and his voting record. Susan Delacourt of TorStar has written about the Idealism he brings to his job.
The MPP is known for his advocacy and parliamentary record including his efforts to deliver stronger climate action, support low income workers and the promotion of treatments around addiction and mental health.
Up next… Ted Hsu
Ted Hsu was a federal MP for Kingston and the Islands. A seat he won when former MP and Speaker of the House Peter Milliken stepped down.
During the 2011 election, Ted was one of only two new Liberals elected across Canada.
Ted Hsu (pronounced “shoe”) is presently the sitting Ontario Liberal MPP for Kingston and the Islands.
In the 2022 Ontario election, Ted successfully won back his home riding of Kingston and the Islands from the New Democratic Party. During the election, he was one of only 13 candidates, across all parties, to be endorsed as an environmental leader by GreenPAC.ca.
Many of his supporters believe Ted’s the only candidate who can bridge the rural/ urban divide. He has a track record of bringing those on either side of issues together. He is the only Candidate who currently holds a seat at Queens Park
Lastly… Yasir Naqvi
Yasir Naqvi is running to lead the Ontario Liberal Party because he believes the status quo under Doug Ford’s Conservatives is simply not good enough. From food prices, rising costs of housing, shady developer deals to selling off the Greenbelt, and a healthcare system in crisis, he has a solution.
For the last 15 years he has served both the MP and MPP for Ottawa Centre, with a focus on practical solutions that break down barriers. As part of this work, both as Minister and active legislator, Yasir has worked on many landmark bills and introduced over 20 pieces of legislation on a number of local and province-wide concerns..
As I have said in the past if we want a government that works for us we have to be engaged. As the vote gets closer it’s incumbent upon all members new and old to show up and cast their ballot. The provincial Liberals use a ranked ballot system and with four candidates, ranking is very important.
I know how I am going to rank these candidates but I won’t be sharing my decision (as much as I know you would like to know!).
If you are interested in this vital race that will determine who goes head-to-head with Doug Ford at Queens Park, go online to the Liberal party website at: https://ontarioliberal.ca/leadership/