Ontario NDP to elect new leader in March

TORONTO — Ontario’s New Democrats announced late Friday evening the party will elect a new permanent leader the first week of March, 2023.

The party’s provincial council voted today to set the rules of its leadership race and hopefuls will have until early December 2022 to register as candidates.

Former NDP leader Andrea Horwath (MPP for Hamilton Centre) stepped down after the June 2nd provincial election and Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns was named the party’s interim leader

“Our party is stronger than ever, and in 2023 we’ll be electing not only the next leader of the NDP, but the next premier of Ontario,” said party president Janelle Brady in a press release. “We’re ready to show Ontarians that they can finally have a premier who fights for families and workers — fixing health care, lifting wages up, and tackling the cost of living.”

The new Ontario NDP leader must be elected with greater than 50% plus-one vote from all ballots cast, explained the party release. Ranked balloting will be used, and multiple rounds are possible until a candidate reaches that majority.

Candidates need to submit signatures from 100 NDP members that support their candidacy and a minimum of 20 signatures must come from NDP members who live in at least four of six geographic regions.

At least half of each candidates’ signatories must be women and at least 25% of each candidates’ signatories must be equity-seeking NDP members, including Black, Indigenous and racialized members.

The party will also host two official leadership debates, and livestream both.

The spending limit for each leadership campaign will be $900,000, which does not include spending on child care costs for the candidate or their team, any accommodations made due to a disability, or the registration fee.

The registration fee is $5,000 on registration, plus another $50,000 paid in installments. This figure is expected to be fundraised from supporters.