Bonnie Crombie wins Ontario Liberal management race, says occasion centered on beating Doug Ford

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie will lead the Ontario Liberal Get together in its combat to regain official occasion standing at Queen’s Park — and problem Premier Doug Ford within the 2026 election — after being elected the occasion’s new chief on Saturday.

The perceived front-runner all through the marketing campaign, Crombie lastly reached the edge of votes wanted to develop into the following occasion chief late Saturday afternoon, after officers launched the outcomes of a 3rd and remaining spherical of balloting.

The gang in downtown Toronto erupted in cheers and chanted “Bonnie! Bonnie! Bonnie!” after the victory was introduced.

“There is no such thing as a query, being an Ontario Liberal is again,” Crombie mentioned in her victory speech. “Thanks for taking a spark and turning it into a giant purple flame right here as we speak.” 

Apart from taking down Ford, Crombie may even try to steer the Liberals again to official occasion standing after a disastrous 2022 election that noticed the occasion win simply eight seats and chief Steven Del Duca step down after simply two years on the job.

She defeated Toronto Liberal MP Nate Erskine-Smith, Liberal MP and former provincial cupboard minister Yasir Naqvi and Liberal MPP Ted Hsu.

Ford authorities ‘in all of our sights,’ Crombie says

Crombie rapidly shifted her victory speech to the combat in opposition to Ford in 2026, promising to make life higher for Ontarians whereas criticizing the sitting premier’s observe file on well being care, training and local weather change.

“Ford and his conservative cronies have been the opponents in all of our sights this whole marketing campaign,” she mentioned. “That is our second.” 

In relation to subsequent steps for the occasion, Crombie says the Liberals must concentrate on constructing belief with voters, recruiting candidates who mirror the province and fundraising.

Talking to reporters, she mentioned the PCs are out-fundraising the Liberals “10 to 1.”

“We’ll must concentrate on elevating cash in order that we could be aggressive in 2026,” she mentioned.

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, proper, talks with Yasir Naqvi as he waits to listen to the outcomes of the ultimate spherical of voting. Erskine-Smith completed with 47 per cent of factors. (Chris Younger/The Canadian Press)

After working as a enterprise chief, MP after which mayor for nearly decade, Crombie mentioned as we speak’s victory was the best honour of her life.

Crombie has been a preferred mayor in Mississauga, cruising to a 3rd time period final October. After her win, Crombie was requested concerning the Liberals’s prospects in Peel Area, which is at present dominated by the PCs.

“I totally intend to take all seats in Peel Area,” Crombie mentioned.

Crombie doesn’t have a seat at Queen’s Park. She mentioned she would take into account operating for MPP in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex — the seat vacated by former labour minister Monte McNaughton in September — however would not decide to placing her title on the poll. Ideally, she mentioned, she would run in Mississauga.

Crombie mentioned she would possible step down as Mississauga’s mayor within the new 12 months.

Crombie, as Mississauga mayor, has been a vocal opponent of Ford’s adjustments to how municipalities acquire sure charges from builders that assist the cities fund infrastructure — the Affiliation of Municipalities of Ontario has mentioned the transfer shortchanged municipalities by $5 billion — and has pushed arduous for the dissolution of Peel Area the place her Toronto-area metropolis is situated.

In her victory speech, Crombie thanked the late Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, her mentor, for educating her the significance of being an excellent listener and sound monetary supervisor. 

Ford authorities already on the assault, NDP congratulatory

Ford’s Progressive Conservatives revealed an assault advert on social media minutes after Crombie was elected chief. 

“Bonnie and the Liberals simply do not get it…They’re going to value you,” reads a picture of Crombie the conservatives shared on X, previously referred to as Twitter.

The picture consists of bullet factors that counsel a Crombie-led authorities would see “increased taxes, extra gridlock, fewer properties.”

Ontario NDP Chief Marit Stiles struck a completely different tone, congratulating Crombie’s win with a submit on X.

“As you set a brand new course on your occasion, I am trying ahead to your concepts and contributions to the talk on the way forward for our nice province,” Stiles mentioned.

Crombie received on the third spherical of ranked poll voting after main the primary spherical and second spherical, however falling wanting the 50 per cent threshold wanted to win. She took the management with roughly 53 per cent of factors wanted to win, after ending with 43 per cent within the first spherical and 47 per cent within the second spherical.

Crombie’s staff entered Saturday’s contest suggesting she may win after the primary spherical of votes was counted. However the race completed nearer than anticipated, with Erskine-Smith ending with 47 per cent of the out there factors.

A composite image of, from left to right, a man in a black suit with a red tie, a man in a blue suit with a blue tie, a woman in a white suit and a man in a black suit with no tie.
Ontario Liberal Get together management hopefuls, left to proper, Ted Hsu, Yasir Naqvi, Bonnie Crombie and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith. Crombie got here out on prime Saturday. (Sean Kilpatrick, Justin Tang, Chris Younger, Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)

The Liberals had boasted that the management race noticed the candidates enroll a file variety of members, with greater than 100,000 individuals eligible to vote for the brand new chief — up from 44,000 and 38,000 within the two earlier contests.

However solely a fraction of these members solid ballots final weekend, with 22,827 individuals voting. The occasion notes that’s increased than the 12,988 Ontario Liberals who solid ballots within the 2020 management race and greater than the 19,438 in 2013.

A timeline of current Ontario Liberal leaders

  • Dalton McGuinty, 1996 to 2013 — McGuinty introduced his resignation in 2012, paving the way in which for an intense management competitors.

  • Kathleen Wynne, 2013 to 2018 — Wynne stepped down after her occasion was defeated by the Progressive Conservatives.

  • John Fraser, 2018 to 2020 — Fraser served because the occasion’s interim chief.

  • Steven Del Duca, 2020-2022 — Del Duca stepped down after the PCs as soon as once more defeated the Liberals within the 2022 election. 

  • John Fraser, 2022 till as we speak — Fraser mentioned he has dominated out a 3rd stint as interim chief.

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