The only way that the Ontario Liberal Party can truly regain the trust and respect of all Ontarians is if we understand and act on the needs and desires of people in every region of the province.
We cannot be the party of change if we focus solely on the large metropolitan areas and neglect the people who live in other parts of Ontario.
Each region has its own unique set of concerns and an effective leader needs to understand the issues that matter to all Ontarians. I have had the pleasure of visiting every region in our province and listening to the concerns of Ontarians from every walk of life. This has been my approach as the MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood, and it will continue to be my approach as leader of the party.
How we select a leader is a key process that we must change in order to respect the views of all Ontarians. We can no longer have a system that asks members to first elect delegates from a pool of people that they may not know, and then ask the delegates to bear what may be a major expense for them to travel to Toronto from all corners of the province to cast their votes for a leader. Despite all of this effort put forth by party members, the vast majority of delegates will not have a direct or real vote beyond the 1st ballot. Many Ontarians have expressed to me that they want to see a change to the system that we currently have in place. They want to participate in a system where their vote counts.
We currently have a regional structure in place to bring riding representatives together, but we need to do more. I will modify the current structure of the regional groups to make them into caucuses made up of people that have been selected by the local ridings, including elected MPPs and candidates.
These caucuses will be supported by the party office in their region, they will have regularly scheduled meetings with clear agendas, and, wherever possible, they will seek input from all members on policies and structural changes before they are finalized.
The goal is to facilitate more listening and collaboration between members and party executives before all matters are passed allowing the members to lead the regional meetings, versus strictly taking direction from the party leader and executives.
I also commit to improving our means for collecting input from people all across Ontario – regardless of their proximity to Queens Park, what their personal circumstances are and yes even the weather conditions – through the use of online and other electronic methods.
I have a bold goal for the Ontario Liberal Party
Our party needs to hear the concerns of Ontarians. This is why we need to knock on 1 million doors in Ontario by 2022. Part of my campaign readiness is to have nominations and candidates in place one year in advance of the next election. I will ensure that we raise the money we need to run the election and pay down the debt.
We must become a modern, inclusive party. I held my seat in the last election. I have raised all the money I needed to run successfully in three elections. I know how to lead and I know how to win.