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Del Duca launches Ontario Liberal leadership bid

Last Updated Apr 3, 2019 at 4:10 pm EDT

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca takes questions from reporters at Queen's Park in Toronto on Nov. 20, 2014. CITYNEWS

A former Wynne Liberal cabinet minister has officially announced his intent to run for the provincial party’s leadership.

“Now more than ever, (the Ontario Liberal Party) needs a leader who will be relentless in the pursuit of progress—someone willing to work hard today, tomorrow, and until the very last ballot is counted,” Steven Del Duca said in a tweet on Wednesday

Along with the tweet, Del Duca published his announcement video where he touts the hard work of his parents as the driving force behind his political career.

“We need to renew the Ontario Liberal Party. To stop Doug Ford and to get our province back on track in 2022,” he said.

Del Duca also said he plans to commit to running at least 50 per cent female candidates in 2022 and create a “30 under 30” plan with at least 30 of the Liberal party’s 2022 candidates being under the age of 30.

The former transportation minister lost his Vaughan riding in last spring’s election.

A date for a leadership convention has not yet been set but several other Liberals appear to be testing the waters.

Former child and youth services minister Michael Coteau, who held on to his Don Valley East seat in Toronto, has already indicated he will run for the leadership. He said he will have a formal campaign launch later, but has spent the last month and a half organizing.

“I’m running because I believe Ontario is not prepared for the big changes that are here, that are actually taking place in our economy,” he said. “I’m running because of the economic divide that’s taking place and the erosion of the middle class and I’m running to ensure there’s a party that’s ready to take on the challenges that Ontario is going to face…over the next few decades.”

Former education minister Mitzie Hunter said that she is also strongly considering a bid.

And former community safety minister Marie-France Lalonde said she has been approached about running for the leadership.

“There is consideration, but I would say there’s other colleagues and former colleagues and lots of people who are considering,” she said. “I think it’s very important that it’s a healthy, respectful leadership and it will show Ontarians how strong the party is.”