Liberal leadership candidate briefing: Charles Sousa

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Credentials:

  • MPP for the riding of Mississauga South since 2007
  • Member of provincial cabinet since 2010 (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games and Minister of Labour)
  • Launched Ontario’s first immigration strategy in November 2012

If elected, Sousa would:

  • Become Ontario “Jobs Premier” by increasing investment in the province.
  • Improve transportation systems to the North.
  • Expand the province’s energy transmission capacity.

Supporters:

  • MPP Soo Wong (Scarborough—Agincourt)
  • MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest)
  • Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion attended Sousa’s leadership announcement but did not formally endorsed him.

Odds of victory:

  • Low. Sousa is largely unknown outside the Queen’s Park circle. Even as a cabinet minister, Sousa has a low profile, rarely speaking during Question Period.
  • A recent poll by Forum Research found Sousa and Harinder Takhar to be the least popular of the seven candidates, each with only 2 per cent of public support.
  • That said, the leadership will be decided by delegates, not the public. Sousa has been campaigning hard and his performance at the first two leadership debates were well-regarded.

Sousa’s campaign website is here: http://votesousa.ca

Liberal leadership candidate briefing: Eric Hoskins

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Credentials:

  • MPP for the riding of St. Paul’s since 2009
  • Member of cabinet since 2009 (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Minister of Children and Youth Services)
  • A family doctor and Oxford Rhodes Scholar
  • Co-founded charity War Child with his wife Samantha Nutt

If elected, Hoskins would:

  • Address youth unemployment in Ontario by offering business incentives for youth job creation.
  • Support rural Ontario by launching a Rural Jobs and Economic Development. Strategy, a Rural Transit Strategy and a strategy to deliver high speed Internet throughout rural Ontario.
  • Promote healthy living as a way of keeping the province’s healthcare system sustainable.

Supporters:

  • MPP Amrit Mangat (Mississauga—Brampton South)
  • MPP Tracy MacCharles (Picking—Scarborough East)
  • Former MPP Jim Brownwell
  • Filmmaker Deepa Mehta
  • Former Ontario Liberal Party presidents Gord Phaneuf and Mike Eizenga

Odds of victory:

  • Moderate. Hoskins may remind delegates of a young McGuinty. He is agreeable and non-controversial, but not highly experienced in politics (McGuinty was).
  • At the very least, this leadership run should boost his public profile.

Etcetera:

  • Hoskins, who grew up in Simcoe, Ont., is trying to expand his appeal beyond the GTA by promoting himself as rural boy at heart.
  • In a gaffe at his leadership launch, Hoskins compared the tension in the legislature before McGuinty announced prorogation in October to war-torn areas of Africa he visited as a humanitarian doctor.

Hoskins’ campaign website is here: http://ericforleader.ca.

Liberal leadership race candidate briefing: Gerard Kennedy

Credentials:

  • MPP for the riding of Parkdale—High Park from 1999 – 2006 and for the riding of York South from 1996 – 1999
  • Member of provincial cabinet from 2003 – 2006 (Minister of Education)
  • Federal MP for the riding of Parkdale—High Park from 2008 – 2011

If elected, Kennedy would:

  • Use negotiation and bargaining, rather than legislation, when it comes to new teacher contracts. Kennedy is the only candidate who has called Bill 115 a mistake.
  • Kennedy has the advantage of being able to distance himself from the McGuinty government, since he has not worked for them for six years, but he stands behind its full-day kindergarten initiative and the rurally-unpopular Green Energy Act.

Supporters:

  • Former MPP George Smitherman
  • Former MPP Steve Peters

Odds of victory:

  • When it comes to winning leadership races, Kennedy certainly has his own record against him. He lost the Ontario Liberal leadership to Dalton McGuinty in 1996 and the federal Liberal leadership to Stéphane Dion in 2006. Third time’s a charm?

Photo sourced from the Waterloo Record.

More information available on Kennedy’s campaign website: http://www.gerardkennedy.ca/