April 28, 2023 1:51pm
Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidates will gather at the Wingham Golf and Curling Club this weekend for an informal debate.
The event, which is open to the public and free of charge, will feature four candidates vying to become the next leader of the party. MPP Ted Hsu, MPP Stephanie Bowman, MPP Adil Shamji, and MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith are all scheduled to attend.
The debate is taking place as the Ontario Liberal Party seeks to rebuild after two poor showings in provincial elections. Following the most recent election, in which the party won only eight seats and failed to regain party status, former leader Steven Del Duca resigned. The party has since made several changes, including switching to a “one-member-one-vote” system for selecting the new leader.
According to Shelley Blackmore, a member of the Huron-Bruce Liberal riding association, the new system has left people feeling energized about the future of the party. She believes it will lead to better representation from across Ontario in the selection of the new leader, which could help the party have a stronger presence in rural areas of the province.
Blackmore notes that the party recognized during the last election that it doesn’t elect enough MPPs in rural Ontario. She says the candidates attending the Wingham event are aware of this issue and understand that the party will need to involve all of Ontario to form a majority government.
The event will take place on Saturday, April 29, from 2-5 p.m. at the Wingham Golf and Curling Club.