Schreiner emphasizes being ‘open and transparent’ on Liberal leadership invite
Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says he owes it to his constituents in Guelph, Ont., to talk to them, after a letter circulated online encouraging him to run for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.
A number of high-ranking officials from the provincial Liberals issued an open letter on Sunday, calling on Schreiner to step away from the Greens and run for the leadership of their party.
But Schreiner has said repeatedly that he will talk it over with residents and Green Party supporters before making a decision.
“I want to do this in a way that is open and transparent,” Schreiner told CJOY and Global News on Tuesday. “I think I owe it to people to think about this letter and how to respond to it.”
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After initially turning it down, Schreiner said there were some factors that led him to mull over the offer.
“When I received the letter, it challenged me to think about if I might work differently to really push the issues that I’m working hard to advance.”
Schreiner became the leader of the Ontario Green Party in 2006. He was first elected as MPP for Guelph in 2018. Schreiner was re-elected in the 2022 provincial election last June and remains the only elected member of his party in the Ontario legislature.
The Liberals finished in third place for the second consecutive election behind the victorious Progressive Conservatives and the second-place NDP. That election saw then-Liberal leader Steven Del Duca step down from the position after he was unable to win the seat in a Toronto-area riding.
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One former Liberal leadership candidate who lost out to Del Duca penned the open letter to Schreiner.
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“A group of people shared a feeling that he should enter the race and we want to say so publicly,” said Kate Graham, who added this is not part of some master plan.
Schreiner says he has already heard from some people to go after the Liberal leadership while others are not totally convinced.
“I’ve had some people say, ‘Don’t do it’,” Schreiner said. “I’ve had a lot people say to me, ‘This is something you should think about because we need something bold to push back against the Ford government’.”
There has been no timetable or parameters set by the Ontario Liberal Party to name their next leader.
— with files from Isaac Callan and Colin D’Mello
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