THUNDER BAY – Sandra Pupatello held a slim two vote lead after the first ballot was announced at the Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention. The convention speeches are over, and now what is left to do for the delegates is decide on the next leader of the party and Premier of Ontario.
Pupatello tallied 599 votes or 28.7 per cent of 2,085 ballots cast in the first ballot. Kathleen Wynne is sitting in second place a mere two votes behind with support of 597 voting delegates, representing 28.6 per cent support.
Kathleen Wynne said, “The past three months have been about ideas, renewal, and excitement. Now, as a party, we will take that vision, that momentum, and transform it into a brighter future,” said Wynne. “The best way to do that is to keep governing, because Ontarians don’t want an election. They expect us to lead.”
Pupatello who is running on the centre-right of the political spectrum is looking for delegates to support her leadership bid to bring jobs back to Ontario.
Ontario Liberal Leadership Vote
Other voter numbers from the first-round voting results are:
- Gerard Kennedy: 281 votes (13.5 per cent).
- Harinder Takhar: 235 votes (11.3 per cent).
- Charles Sousa: 222 votes (10.7 per cent)
- Eric Hoskins: 150 votes (7.2 per cent); automatically forced to drop out).
Live Coverage: Liberal Leadership Convention
Meanwhile outside the Convention Hall, protesters are demonstrating against the Liberal Government.
Labour Groups Protest Liberal Government
“We are here to tell the new Premier of Ontario that you cannot lead this province unless fairness, equality and workers’ rights are central to your economic strategy,” said OFL President Sid Ryan to a thronging crowd at Toronto’s Allan Gardens. “Today’s rally is a testament to the Liberal’s largest opposition – the people of Ontario.”
In total, 131 buses traveled from every corner of the province to join thousands of protesters who arrived at the rally in droves by foot, transit and car. More than 100 community groups and labour unions converged outside the Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention to protest cut to social programs and the cancellation of workers’ rights.
“Austerity hasn’t worked! By attacking good jobs and social programs, the Liberals have played right into the interests of a corporate sector that helped to create Ontario’s deficit in the first place,” said Ryan. “Banks and corporations are siphoning billions in tax breaks from the Ontario treasury while the rest of us are being left behind.”