Russell PifferFormer child services minister Eric Hoskins might be bringing up the rear in the provincial Liberal leadership race but his supporters could play a pivotal role in deciding Ontario’s next premier.
The CBC reported Monday that Hoskins received six per cent support from the party’s 1837 elected delegates during voting last weekend.
That puts him five point behind fifth place candidate Charles Sousa, the MPP for Mississauga South, and 21 points behind leading candidate, Windsor West MPP Sandra Pupatello.
Pupatello, who’s held an array of cabinet positions in the McGuinty government, has a two-point lead over former education minister and Don Valley West MPP Kathleen Wynne, according to the CBC.
A candidate must achieve over 50 per cent of the delegate vote to declare victory. Which of the frontrunners candidates like Hoskins throw their support behind may decide the new Liberal leader.
Despite being last in the race, Hoskins told the Toronto Star’s editorial board Wednesday that he does not intend to drop out of the race.
“Maybe this just isn’t my time,” Hoskins told the Star. “But in this process, and in life in general, you don’t necessarily have to win to make a difference.”
When the Star asked Hoskins who was closer to his values, Pupatello or Wynne, he did not give a definite answer.
“If I decide to lend my support to another candidate – and I may not; I could just release my delegates… it will be for a variety of reasons,” he said. “One consideration is alignment with the policy ideas I’ve put out, but it’s also about who I feel will give me opportunity to make the biggest difference that I can.”
The Toronto Star reported Monday that “some of the less successful candidates are quietly jockeying — or being courted for — key cabinet posts in either a Pupatello or Wynne government.”
Hoskins is a former family doctor who has who practiced medicine for 25 years and provided humanitarian relief in war-torn countries around the world.
He has been in politics since 2009 and held two cabinet posts.
Hoskins told the Star that broader social issues like poverty and unemployment are often at the root of poor health and this is the core of his political values.
“People are healthy when their society is healthy,” he says on his campaign website. “They thrive when their economy is growing. They only succeed with adequate housing, reliable transit, and strong social services.”
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