What’s up, Doc? A fifth Liberal candidate for the Liberal leadership

 A fifth leadership candidate is just what the doctor ordered for the ailing Ontario Liberal Party.Rookie Liberal MPP Adil Shamji, an emergency physician, has officially entered the Dec. 2 contest for the party leadership.Shamji quietly registered his candidacy with Elections Ontario on Tuesday ahead of a formal launch this weekend.“As the MPP for Don Valley East, I have been holding (Premier) Doug Ford accountable in the legislature on a daily basis,” he said in a statement.“Now, I am ready to lead a new Liberal movement that puts the needs and aspirations of Ontarians first. Together, we will build a province where everyone can prosper, not just a privileged few.”First elected to the legislature just 13 months ago, Shamji joins a crowded field for the Grit leadership.Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a former MP, is the front-runner in the race that will be decided by Liberals in a one-member-one-vote election.Liberal MPs Nate Erskine-Smith (Beaches-East York) and Yasir Naqvi (Ottawa Centre), a former provincial cabinet minister and party president, as well as rookie MPP Ted Hsu (Kingston and the Islands), a former MP, are also vying for the Grit crown.Candidates must pay a $100,000 entry fee plus a $25,000 refundable deposit.The five-person contest has provided a much-needed injection of energy to the Liberals, who have struggled for the past five years since being toppled by Ford’s Progressive Conservatives.It’s also served as a lively contrast to the rival New Democrats, who acclaimed Marit Stiles as their leader in February.That lack of a contested election robbed the NDP — the official opposition to the Conservatives at Queen’s Park — of the media attention and policy debates that leadership races can generate.The Liberals, who governed Ontario from 2003 until 2018 under premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne before losing power to the Tories, currently hold only seven seats in 124-member legislature.That’s five below the threshold of 12 for official party status and well behind the NDP’s 30 seats and the Tories’ 81. There are three Independents, one Green and two vacancies that will be filled after July 27 byelections in Scarborough Guildwood and Kanata Carleton.Shamji will officially kick off his candidacy Saturday afternoon at the Rally Bar and Grill on O’Connor Dr. in North York.Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie 

A fifth leadership candidate is just what the doctor ordered for the ailing Ontario Liberal Party.

Rookie Liberal MPP Adil Shamji, an emergency physician, has officially entered the Dec. 2 contest for the party leadership.

Shamji quietly registered his candidacy with Elections Ontario on Tuesday ahead of a formal launch this weekend.

“As the MPP for Don Valley East, I have been holding (Premier) Doug Ford accountable in the legislature on a daily basis,” he said in a statement.

“Now, I am ready to lead a new Liberal movement that puts the needs and aspirations of Ontarians first. Together, we will build a province where everyone can prosper, not just a privileged few.”

First elected to the legislature just 13 months ago, Shamji joins a crowded field for the Grit leadership.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a former MP, is the front-runner in the race that will be decided by Liberals in a one-member-one-vote election.

Liberal MPs Nate Erskine-Smith (Beaches-East York) and Yasir Naqvi (Ottawa Centre), a former provincial cabinet minister and party president, as well as rookie MPP Ted Hsu (Kingston and the Islands), a former MP, are also vying for the Grit crown.

Candidates must pay a $100,000 entry fee plus a $25,000 refundable deposit.

The five-person contest has provided a much-needed injection of energy to the Liberals, who have struggled for the past five years since being toppled by Ford’s Progressive Conservatives.

It’s also served as a lively contrast to the rival New Democrats, who acclaimed Marit Stiles as their leader in February.

That lack of a contested election robbed the NDP — the official opposition to the Conservatives at Queen’s Park — of the media attention and policy debates that leadership races can generate.

The Liberals, who governed Ontario from 2003 until 2018 under premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne before losing power to the Tories, currently hold only seven seats in 124-member legislature.

That’s five below the threshold of 12 for official party status and well behind the NDP’s 30 seats and the Tories’ 81.

There are three Independents, one Green and two vacancies that will be filled after July 27 byelections in Scarborough Guildwood and Kanata Carleton.

Shamji will officially kick off his candidacy Saturday afternoon at the Rally Bar and Grill on O’Connor Dr. in North York.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Random Youtube Video