Marit Stiles only candidate in Ontario NDP leadership race
Toronto-area MPP Marit Stiles is set to become the next leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party.
The party confirmed the news on Tuesday morning, saying that Stiles will “work tirelessly to end the era of Conservation cuts and privatization.”
“Together with Marit, we will work to build a party and a 2026 election campaign with space for working people and labour, progressives, racialized and equity-deserving Ontarians, and young people," Ontario NDP President Janelle Brady said in a statement.
"Marit can give people hope and unite the province to defeat Doug Ford — to make life affordable and rebuild and improve health care and education."
Stiles will take over for interim leader Peter Tabuns after members formally participate in a confirmation vote scheduled for March 2023. The provincial council could choose to expedite the process; although it is unclear if they will.
Speaking to reporters following Question Period, Stiles said she was excited to start the “real race” to defeat Premier Doug Ford in 2026.
“There is no question that Ontarians are looking for the NDP to unite, to mobilize, and to start the race right now to defeat Doug Ford,” she said.
“The work is now. The legislature's sitting for another couple of days. I will continue to cross this province to build and to mobilize, to build our movement so that we can actually be in a position to not just fight the Ford agenda but actually propose the solution.”
Stiles, a former education critic for the NDP and school board trustee, launched her leadership bid in September. The MPP has represented the riding of Davenport since 2018 and says she hopes to bring a positive vision to the party.
"Just as we're easing back into public life like this, people are being pummelled by the rising cost of groceries and rent -- you name it," Stiles said at her campaign launch in September.
"It's about jobs and opportunities."
Ford congratulated Stiles on social media, saying he is looking forward to "many spirited debates."
In order to be nominated, a candidate needed to get 100 signatures from members, with at least half coming from women, gender diverse or non-binary members. A quarter of those signatures also need to be from “equity-seeking groups.”
Contenders also had to pay $55,000.
LOSS OF LEADERSHIP RACE COULD COST PARTY
CTV News Political Analyst Scott Reid says that while a sole contender may be good for Stiles, it isn’t ideal for a political party to have an “outright coronation.”
“Leadership races generate energy. They attract donations and money. They attract new members. You find new talent, candidates are tested, and then they rise to the challenge or fall by the wayside and then all of that translates into a more effective opposition and, most importantly, more effective preparation to compete in the next election campaign and ideally, to win and form a government. They've robbed themselves multiple steps,” he said.
“That happens sometimes, but it means that they're now going to have to create it out of a caucus instead of out of the party.”
Reid added that it’s possible to generate donations and new members in a leadership tour instead, but it places the onus on the shoulders of one individual.
Heading into the deadline, Stiles received eight public endorsements from NDP MPPs. While a number of other contenders expressed interest in running for party leader, none went through with the nominations.
Kim Wright, an NDP strategist, said the lack of further nominations means there is unity within the party.
“What we've seen is that Marit Stiles and her team got out early,” she said. “The more people got to know her in that potential leadership role, the more they rallied behind her.”
“The caucus will be united and is united.”
Wright said Stiles has done “pretty much every job within the Ontario NDP,” which puts her in a unique position to lead the “next generation of New Democrats.”
“She has been a political staffer. She's been a researcher. She'd been an organizer. Then she got elected,” Wright said. “She is incredibly personable, she is about community building, she is very empathetic, and really does, not only individual conversations well, but can give a barnburner of his speech.”
However, the party may not be as united as Wright believes.
MPP Jill Andrew released a statement Tuesday morning saying she intended to run in the leadership race but ultimately decided not to.
“Our financial team worked tirelessly and managed to raise every last penny needed to enter the race, working through some unclear guidelines,” Andrew wrote. “Those guidelines coupled with the integration of processes between the leadership rules and Elections Ontario put me at a huge disadvantage – one that no amount of dedication to the application process could erase for me.”
CTV News Toronto reached out for clarification on what part of the process put Andrew at a disadvantage, but has not heard back.
‘GET IT OVER WITH’
As it stands, there are now two faces for the Ontario NDP until a confirmation vote takes place. Neither Stiles or Tabuns would speculate on Tuesday about whether the party would choose to have the vote early.
But according to Reid, the party should just “get it over with.”
“There's no suspense over who it's going to be. Put the reins in their hands,” he said.
“She's the only candidate. She will win, so make it official fast and then let her get going at the difficult job she has.”
Over the last two months, Stiles has promised to create a online policy forum that will report feedback to the NDP convention, improve transparency in the candidate approval process, reduce membership fees, and pilot a new local organizer program to support riding association fundraising.
In her platform—titled “Strengthening Our Party, Building A Movement”—Stiles says while the NDP was elected as the Official Opposition twice, “we can no longer be satisfied with a second place showing.”
“‘Good enough’ is no longer good enough,” her website says. “There’s too much at stake and people are counting on us.”
The position opened up after the June 2022 elections, when long-time leader Andrea Horwath resigned.
Horwath led the NDP since 2009 and is now the mayor of Hamilton.
The Ontario Liberal Party also needs to select a new leader, but the process is happening significantly slower. Interim leader John Fraser told reporters Tuesday that a general meeting will take place in March 2023, in which the rules for the leadership contest will be decided.
A new leader may be chosen sometime in the spring of 2024, he said.
With files from the Canadian Press
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that was found floating over sensitive military sites in the western United States had been tracked by Canada's government since last weekend as it passed through Canadian airspace, sources tell CTV News.
The oldest preserved vertebrate brain has been found in a 319-million-year-old fossilized fish skull that was removed from an English coal mine over a century ago.
It took 40 years, but former NHL player and coach Ted Nolan is now one of eight Indigenous ex-NHL-ers being honoured hockey trading cards as a part of Upper Deck's First Peoples Rookie Card series.
A B.C. man who was mistaken for the target in a police takedown and shot by an officer in 2013 has had his lawsuit alleging negligence dismissed.
Three bodies found in a vacant Detroit-area apartment building have been identified as those of three aspiring rappers who went missing nearly two weeks ago, police said Friday.
For much of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh's double murder trial, witnesses have talked about a generous and loving man -- but prosecutors want jurors to know that same man stole over US$4 million from his housekeeper's relatives after she died at work, and killed his wife and son to cover up his crimes.
A senior aide to Japan's prime minister is being dismissed after making discriminatory remarks about LGBTQ2S+ people.
A jury on Friday decided Elon Musk didn't deceive investors with his 2018 tweets about electric automaker Tesla.
A new research from a citizen science program suggests that stars are disappearing before our eyes at an 'astonishing rate.'
The ongoing cold snap has Quebecers cranking up the heat in their homes, which Hydro-Quebe says has caused a record peak in electricity demand. In a Tweet Friday, the hydroelectricity supplier said that around 5:30 p.m., demand across the province reached 42,700 megawatts.
A reclusive billionaire who headed a Montreal tech company is stepping down one day after Radio-Canada/CBC published a report that alleged he paid teenage girls for sex for more than a decade.
The Montreal fire department is advising people to avoid Sherbrooke Street East at Carignan Avenue in the Longue Pointe neighbourhood as a five-alarm fire is burning.
The public is being asked to avoid the area of Sixth Avenue in Woodstock, Ont. on Friday afternoon due to an “active police investigation” following a grim discovery made by police.
Extreme cold and snow squall warnings are impacting roads and school bus operations in the region, and multiple area roads and highways have been closed by OPP due to hazardous driving conditions.
Mounting resistance to infill development in neighbourhoods is testing city council’s commitment to The London Plan’s intensification targets. However, one prominent project is bucking the trend.
Police say they’ve arrested three people and one person was taken to hospital following an armed robbery at Conestoga Mall on Thursday.
Ontario Provincial Police are once again reminding drivers to clear the snow and ice off of their vehicles before they head out onto the road.
Waterloo regional police issued a robbery warning Thursday evening after they said two convenience stores and a restaurant in Kitchener were robbed within a 30 minute span.
Canada's newest millionaire, an 18-year-old university freshman from northern Ontario, has achieved a lot of firsts with a recent lottery win. Here is her story.
Ontario Provincial Police have closed a portion of Highway 400 north of Toronto following multiple collisions due to whiteout conditions.
An investigation that lasted almost two years has resulted in moose hunting violation convictions for six people and a lodge in Red Lake in northwestern Ontario.
A federal government department has fired 49 employees who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit while they were employed.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the cancellations and closures in the Ottawa area due to the extreme cold temperatures.
EXTREME COLD WARNING
EXTREME COLD WARNING | Deep freeze hits Ottawa, wind chill drops below -40
Extreme cold temperatures will continue to grip Ottawa and eastern Ontario Friday night and Saturday morning, with the wind chill making it feel colder than -40.
'Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could get it back?': Woman on mission to identity people in old photographs
A River Canard, Ont. woman is on a mission to identify several unknown people in a handful of old photographs she said she found in a box inside her attic. She said she discovered the pictures and postcards while decluttering her home as part of her New Year’s resolution, noticing many date back to the mid 1940s.
The Windsor-Essex Board of Health will move ahead with a compromise that will allow the SafePoint consumption and treatment site (CTS) to open at its previously approved location as soon as possible.
Real estate in Windsor-Essex has been a rollercoaster ride over the past few years and in January, the wild ride continued.
As the region continues to be blasted by heavy winter weather, there are several road closures to report.
Parents of students with special needs are speaking out about a decision by the Simcoe County District School Board to change transportation options starting Monday.
Temperatures are plummeting across the Maritimes as a blast of Arctic air moves into the region.
A seafood processing plant in Portage, N.B., has been completely destroyed following a major fire Friday afternoon.
Atlantic Lottery says it has been contacted by a player who believes they have the winning ticket to this week's $31 million Lotto Max Draw.
Alberta's high court is being asked to overturn a review board decision relating to the stabbing deaths of five young people at a Calgary house party on the grounds the former provincial justice minister interfered.
Police are investigating a series of tire slashing incidents in northeast Calgary.
Thousands of Alberta lawyers are expected to take part in an online debate Monday morning over the issue of mandatory Indigenous history training.
Winnipeg police released a new image of a 31-year-old woman who has been missing since early last year on Friday in the hope it may generate new information on her whereabouts.
A fire destroyed a popular paint and hobby shop in Winkler Thursday afternoon with black smoke prompting Winkler police to close off a stretch of Highway 32 for more than an hour.
Manitoba has expanded the types of identification acceptable for use to purchase liquor, cannabis and lottery tickets in the province.
The mayors of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody want Nav Canada — the organization that creates flight paths for airports across the country — to pause its plans for a new YVR arrivals route that will direct many large airplanes over their communities.
'Just absolute scum of the earth': Family upset after senior with dementia defrauded by someone posing as care worker
Seventy-nine-year-old William Herbert thought the woman coming to see him was a nurse who needed to do bloodwork. But instead of helping him, it’s alleged she stole from him.
Homicide investigators are looking into whether a vehicle fire in Surrey on Thursday morning is connected to the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy in Burnaby hours later.
An Edmonton man who received a ticket from the city under the phase 2 residential parking ban earlier this week says his street has finally been plowed — five days after his vehicle was ticketed.
Marc, Seth and Zacary James are the Melisizwe Brothers, and they performed at Jasper Place High School on Friday as part of Edmonton Public School Black History Month celebrations.
New MRI-radiation hybrid machine in Alberta expected to improve cancer treatment by at least 20 per cent
Technology in Alberta that is expected to allow doctors to more accurately and effectively treat cancerous tumours with radiation enters clinical trials next week.