Skip to main content

Ontario Liberal leadership race is officially underway with first contender


Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith will officially put his hat in the ring for leadership of the Ontario party Tuesday.

This makes Erskine-Smith the first declared candidate in the race.

The Member of Parliament for Beaches-East York was first elected in 2015 after years spent as a lawyer practicing commercial litigation.

In a video obtained by CTV News Toronto, Erskine-Smith pledges to rebuild the party and promises to bring about “generational and grassroots renewal.”

“If you want better, the answer is participation,” he says. “I left law for politics almost 10 years ago now because of that drive to make a difference, faced with a Liberal party in need of generational change and a cynical Conservative government in Ottawa.”

He says the province is lacking family doctors and underserving residents in mental health, senior care and housing.

“We deserve competence and compassion in addressing these challenges. That means a strong economic agenda and fiscal discipline alongside fairness for those in need, all delivered with honesty and with integrity.”

For months Erskine-Smith has been transparent about the fact that he has been exploring a bid for leadership, speaking vocally about a new voting system and making campaign-like stops to talk about his vision for the party.

The Ontario Liberals have said they are expecting a competitive bid for leadership following the 2022 resignation of Steven Del Duca following his crushing loss during the last provincial elections.

A number of other high-profile Liberals have hinted they may run for leader of the provincial party, including MPPs Stephanie Bowman, Ted Hsu and Adil Shamji. Federal MP Yasir Naqvi is also exploring a bid.

The party has said it will host at least five debates across the province during the race. The new leader is expected to be announced on Dec. 2.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Siobhan Morris Top Stories

Stay Connected