McGuinty successor: 6 candidates, so far

Published On November 13, 2012 | By | Politics

Six candidates have emerged in the race to succeed Dalton McGuinty as the leader of the Ontario Liberals. COURTESY FLICKR

The list of candidates seeking the leadership of the Ontario Liberal party continued to grow Tuesday with the entry of MPP Eric Hoskins, the sixth person to enter the race.

Hoskins, who is also a former family practice doctor, announced his candidacy in front of supporters in his St Paul’s riding in midtown Toronto.

He joins give other candidates who have entered the race after Dalton McGuinty announced his surprising plans to resign last month once his successor is chosen in late January.

The Liberals currently head a minority government at Queen’s Park.

Humber News breaks down the current field of contenders:

Glen Murray

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Glen Murray

The former Mayor of Winnipeg-turned MPP was the first to announce his candidacy. He represents a downtown riding and his most recent cabinet posting was as Minister for Training, Colleges, and Universities. Tackling post-secondary education and issues like student debt is a big part of his platform.

Instead of repaying OSAP loans “immediately on their own, students will be able to choose to borrow for each year of study up to $4,000 for college tuition and fees or $7,000 for undergrad tuition and fees,” Murray said in an email to Humber News.

“You would not have to repay until you get a good job after graduation,” he said.

“After graduation, repayment of loans and the interest rate applied would be on a sliding scale, depending on your income after you graduate. I would also create tax incentives so employers can assume a student’s debt.” Murray said.

Kathleen Wynne

Kathleen Wynne

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Wynne, a former school trustee in Toronto who now represents a midtown riding, has held four cabinet posts in the McGuinty government, including minister of education.

Her ties to the McGuinty government could cause problems for Wynne’s leadership bid. As such, her campaign is striking an early centrist note.

“We must choose a leader who can help navigate through these tough times. Who can stay the course on our economic plan and who can help bring opposing sides to the table and find real creative solutions,” Wynne said in a press release announcing her candidacy.

“Because we can’t move ahead in addressing our fiscal issues without a good relationship with the workers of this province,” Wynne said in a nod to the dissatisfaction felt among many teachers and other public sector employees over recent wage-freeze and anti-strike legislation.

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Gerrard Kennedy

Kennedy narrowly lost a leadership bid for the provincial grits to Dalton McGuinty in 1996, and lost a high profile national leadership bid to Stephane Dion in 2006.

Out of provincial politics for half a decade, Kennedy could be in a good position to distance himself from the unpopular McGuinty government.

“I’m only saying what are the facts — I’m able to bring in a fresh perspective,” Kennedy said at a press conference Monday announcing his candidacy.

“I wasn’t part of some of the decisions, I was part of others that were taken while I was there,” he said.

He immediately set his sights on Bill 115, the province’s wage-freeze legislation, saying he “wouldn’t need” the bill to negotiate a fair deal with public sector workers.

Sandra Pupatello

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Another fixture of the Ontario Liberals, Pupatello held no less than six cabinet positions in the McGuinty government.

Since 2011 when she did not run for re-eleciton, Pupatello has been director of business and global markets at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Like many of her leadership rivals, Pupatello is working to distance herself from the scandal-plagued McGuinty government.

“I’m not left, I’m not right, I’m right in the middle. I’m a centrist who understands the importance of business so that governments get the revenues they need to do things in the way a Liberal government would do,” Pupatello told reporters when she announced her candidacy last Thursday in her hometown of Windsor, Ont.

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Charles Sousa

Sousa, a Mississauga MPP, has been in the provincial legislature since 2007 and most recently, he was the minister responsible for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

A graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ont., and former director of business development at Royal Bank of Canada, Sousa is marketing himself in tough troubled economic times as the “jobs premier.”

“Charles Sousa has the proven business experience with his career background in the financial sector for more than 20 years,” Sousa’s campaign manager Lise Jolicoeur told Humber News.

“Combined with his more recent government experience, he knows how to help the economy grow and create jobs.”

Eric Hoskins

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The Toronto MPP, children and youth services minister, who also started War Child Canada and who is a former family practice doctor announced his candidacy today in front of supporters in his St Paul riding.

He echoed the themes of bipartisan cooperation that’s quickly becoming a hallmark of the leadership race.

“With goodwill, hard work and collaboration, I think it’s very rare that two parties can’t reach an agreement,” Hoskins told his supporters Tuesday.

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