Although leading the struggling Ontario Liberal party may be the worst job in the province (just ask Dalton McGuinty), another four hopefuls have announced their candidacy since Glen Murray and Kathleen Wynne kicked things off a week ago. Below, a cheat sheet on the list so far of would-be premiers (or, depending whom you ask, would-be opposition leaders).
The minister of children and youth services until last week, Hoskins officially signed up for the race this morning. Not only is he a medical doctor, a Rhodes scholar and the founder of War Child Canada, but he is also friends with Chantal Kreviazuk, K’naan and Raine Maida, who has already proclaimed his support for Hoskins.
The former minister of education has a bad track record: he lost in the Ontario leadership race in 1996 and in the federal Liberal leadership race in 2006, and he also lost his federal seat in 2011. However, he hasn’t been sullied by any of the Ontario Liberals’ recent scandals, which gives him as good a chance as anyone.
The Mississaugan and former provincial citizenship and immigration minister launched his campaign by highlighting how he managed to have a power plant in his riding killed. He was speaking about one of the two plant cancellations that ultimately brought down McGuinty, which means he’s either mad or a genius.
The former MPP and cabinet minister has already received an official endorsement from austerity-minded Dwight Duncan, giving her some serious centre-right fiscal cred.
The cabinet veteran has strong ties to Ontario’s teachers’ unions and plenty of early support from caucus. Her centrist vision for the party is based on finding ”middle ground.” Not a bold approach, but one that could see her to victory.
If the former cabinet member wins, we’ll be unbearably smug: in a Toronto Life profile last February, writer Gerald Hannon wrote that Murray is “readying himself for something much bigger.” Hannon also called Murray a “smarty-pants,” a “show-off” and a “Trudeau,” which could be a nice change after nearly a decade with McGuinty’s low-key manner.