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Ontario Liberals to hold five leadership debates, starting Sept. 14 in Thunder Bay

TORONTO — The Ontario Liberals are set to hold five debates in the race to choose their next leader, starting with an event next month in Thunder Bay.

Candidates must register by Sept. 5, and there are so far five contenders: Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Liberal MP Nate Erskine-Smith, Liberal MP and former provincial cabinet minister Yasir Naqvi, and current provincial Liberal caucus members Ted Hsu and Adil Shamji.

The party announced today that debates for the leadership candidates will be held Sept. 14 in Thunder Bay, Oct. 1 in Stratford, Oct. 24 in Toronto, Nov. 8 in Ottawa and either Nov. 18 or 19 in Brampton.

Party members are set to cast their ranked ballots on the weekend of Nov. 25 and the winner is to be unveiled Dec. 2.

The next leader will have the task of rebuilding the party after it failed in two consecutive elections to win enough seats to get official party status in the legislature.

Former leader Steven Del Duca resigned last year after the 2022 election loss and three veteran Liberals wrote in a campaign debrief report that Del Duca was “unpopular” and also pointed to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of overarching vision, and not enough training or support for local campaigns as contributing factors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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