In 2018, I ran for the Ontario Liberal Party in what ended up being the toughest election in our history. As the race went on, the polls grew worse—and yet we kept pushing.
We canvassed until the sun went down on the last possible day. We got out the vote until the polls closed. We engaged thousands of people in conversations about politics. We left everything on the field.
We proudly stood up for the hope we all shared.
We find ourselves in a similar moment in this leadership race. We are running a phenomenal campaign, exceeding expectations. We signed up thousands of new people and reignited a passion in members who had felt left behind for far too long. We elected 273 delegates last weekend, including many young people for whom the convention will be their first major political event.
It also became clear this week that Steven Del Duca has elected a majority of delegates, and is likely to win. He and his campaign team have demonstrated their organizational strength over a year of hard work.
But make no mistake: I am all in, and will be through—and beyond—the convention.
I entered this leadership contest because I feel so strongly about the need for our party to seize this moment for transformational change.
I want us to focus on people and well-being, and to advance ambitious policies to make Ontario carbon neutral, reduce inequality and empower people in communities all over the province. I want us to become less partisan and to push power out from the centre to empower MPPs, riding associations and members to have more say in the direction of our party.
I want to build the kind of party that inspires people to step up, and to believe in us once again.
This is the shared hope that we will carry into the convention on March 6th and 7th, and it is the shared hope that we will continue to drive long after the speeches are done.
We will persist.
You’ve heard me say it before: it’s not about who we choose as leader. It’s about how we choose to lead this province. It’s not about me. It’s about us.
And I need you with me at the convention, whether you were elected as a delegate or not.
Because your voices matter. And, together, our collective voice will be heard.
Thank you for continuing to stand up for the hope we share.
Press Release: As Liberal Leader, Kate Graham would expand Northern Energy Credit, Move Provincial Jobs to Northern Ontario
January 16, Sudbury, ONTARIO - Liberal Leadership candidate Kate Graham released her Northern Ontario strategy today, outlining a vision where Queen’s Park empowers Northern Ontario to thrive.
The plan includes improving broadband access in the North, developing a Rural Post-Secondary Education Strategy, and taking action to improve transportation in the North, including investing in all-season roads and returning the Forest Roads Funding Program to $75 million. Graham would also move provincial ministry jobs to Northern Communities, and help Northern Ontarians save money through an expanded energy credit
“Running in this campaign has allowed me to spend more time in Northern Ontario than ever before. The people here are innovative, resilient, and hard-working: but they need a better partner in Queen’s Park” said Graham. “My plan is designed to empower Northern Ontarians to build solutions that suit their communities’ needs and make life easier.”
Another part of her strategy includes a commitment to releasing a targeted plan later this week to address health gaps in Northern Ontario, including an increase to the Northern Health Travel grant.
“It is unacceptable that a province as prosperous as Ontario has a two-tier health care system where some can access care and while others cannot,” said Graham. “I met a father in Thunder Bay last month who shared about his young daughter getting sick, and having to be flown to a pediatric hospital in London for weeks. The cost and hardship on Northern families to get health care needs to change.”
To read more about Kate’s plan to empower Northern Ontario, click here:
Quick Facts About the Kate Graham campaign:
Graham has raised over $185,000 from over 680 donors. In the past few weeks, she has travelled around the province in an electric car to personally knock on the doors of almost 300 Liberal members– and counting.
Kate has a “Kate Slate” of delegates running in every riding in Ontario to go to the Liberal Leadership convention in March.
Graham’s policy vision is grounded in improving Ontarians' well-being. A focus on well-being has been championed by other progressive governments around the world, including New Zealand and Iceland, and Graham wants to bring a made-in-Ontario approach to Queen's Park.
Graham has outlined four priority areas of well-being for her campaign: empowering Ontarians where they live, making life more affordable, creating better jobs, and making Ontario carbon-neutral.
"I have the humility to know this is not about me. It's about people coming together who want to make change in the province of Ontario."