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Toronto MPP Eric Hoskins enters Liberal party leadership race

Toronto MPP Eric Hoskins announced he is running for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal party, becoming the sixth candidate in the race to replace Premier Dalton McGuinty.

“I am applying because there is much work to be done and I believe that work requires a leader who is capable of reaching a consensus,” Hoskins said at the Centre for Social Innovation in the Annex on Tuesday.

Hoskins said the new party leader must bridge rural and urban Ontario, bring more young people into the party and “re-energize” public policy.

On Oct. 15, McGuinty suspended the legislature and announced he planned to quit as soon as a replacement was chosen. The Liberals were facing a second contempt motion over the two cancelled GTA power plants that cost taxpayers at least $230 million.

Hoskins praised the outgoing premier and said McGuinty would be “a tough act for anyone to follow.”

Hoskins, who served as Ontario’s minister of children and youth services, resigned his post last week, clearing the path for a leadership bid.

The St. Paul’s MPP was first elected in 2009, in a by-election to replace Michael Bryant.

Hoskins joins Gerard Kennedy, Kathleen Wynne, Glen Murray, Charles Sousa and Sandra Pupatello in the leadership race.

Candidates have until Nov. 23 to launch their bids.

The Ontario Liberals will hold their leadership convention at Maple Leaf Gardens over the last weekend of January.

Who do you think should lead the Liberal party? Share your picks in the comments below.