Ontario New Democrats will elect a new leader in March

The rules are in place, the entry fees are set — all that’s needed in the provincial NDP leadership contest are some confirmed candidates.

Ontario’s official opposition party will elect a new leader in early March to take New Democrats into the 2026 election against Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives.

“Our party is stronger than ever, and in 2023 we’ll be electing not only the next leader of the NDP, but the next premier of Ontario,” party president Janelle Brady said in a statement.

It will cost leadership hopefuls $55,000 to enter — $5,000 upon registration, which closes in early December, with the rest paid in installments.

The NDP noted that levy “is substantially lower than the approximately $100,000 registration fee for the most recent Ontario Liberal Party and Ontario PC Party leadership contests.”

Veteran MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto Danforth) is currently serving as interim leader, having taken the reins from Andrea Horwath, who had led the party into four elections since 2009. She resigned June 2.

As in the past, the NDP leadership will decide with a ranked ballot by a combination of one-member-one-vote — weighted to 75 per cent — with the remaining 25 per cent of votes going to labour unions and other affiliated organizations.

The number of votes granted to unions and other affiliates is based on their membership — two voters for the first 100 members or any portion thereof with an extra vote for each additional 300 members.

Beyond the cash entry fee, candidates will need to submit signatures from 100 party members with a minimum of 20 names coming from people who live in at least four of six regions of Ontario.

Half of the candidates’ signatories must be women and a quarter must be Black, Indigenous or other racialized NDP members.

“It’s an exciting time to be a New Democrat in Ontario,” said Brady.

“We’re ready to show Ontarians that they can finally have a premier who fights for families and workers — fixing health care, lifting wages up, and tackling the cost of living.”

Brady said there would be two official leadership debates plus a “showcase” event as well as two “meet and greets” with the candidates before voting begins.

Hopefuls will be allowed to spend $900,000 on their campaigns, excluding the registration fee, child care costs for the candidate or their team plus any expenses due to a disability.

Sitting MPPs who have expressed an interest in running include Marit Stiles (Davenport), Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong), Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), and Catherine Fife (Waterloo).

In the 124-member legislature, which resumes Aug. 8, the New Democrats have 31 seats to 83 for the majority Tories.

The Liberals, who are also looking for a new leader, but have yet to determine next steps, have eight. There is one Green and one Independent.

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


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.

Source link