The Ontario New Democrats announced Tuesday that Toronto MPP Marit Stiles will take over as its leader going forward after no other candidates expressed interest. The deadline to enter the campaign to lead the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park passed at midnight, leaving just Stiles, who represents the Davenport downtown riding, as a contender.
The NDP said in a press release that Marit Stiles was the only candidate to achieve all of the party’s qualifications, including gathering 100 signatures from each of the province’s six electorally significant geographic areas.
According to Ontario NDP President Janelle Brady, “Marit Stiles can offer people hope and unify the province to defeat (Premier) Doug Ford – to make life affordable, rebuild, and enhance health care and education.”
“Our party has never been more powerful. We can increase our influence now that Marit Stiles is in charge.”
A confirmation vote by the New Democrats is still required, and it is presently set on March 4. It may be moved forward, according to party insiders.
The Newfoundland-born Marit Stiles was the party’s education critic when she was first elected as an MPP in 2018. Before being elected to Queen’s Park, Stiles served as the president of the federal NDP for two years while simultaneously serving as a trustee for the Toronto public school board.
Since Andrea Horwath resigned as party leader on election night, when the New Democrats lost seven of the 38 seats they had held for the previous four years, the party has been without a permanent leader. For the NDP, which had aimed to establish itself as the only party capable of defeating the PCs, the outcome was disheartening.
Since 2009, Horwath had been in charge, steering the New Democrats through four elections. Peter Tabuns, an MPP from Toronto-Danforth, was named interim leader in late June.