Ontario NDP sets rules for leadership contest naming new party head by March 2023

TORONTO – Ontario’s New Democrats have mapped out the rules for a leadership contest that will see a new party head in place by the first week of March 2023.

The party’s provincial council issued the rules late Friday, saying candidates who wish to vie for the top job have until early December to register.

Anyone seeking the leadership is expected to submit 100 signatures in support of their candidacy, with at least 50 per cent of them coming from women and 25 per cent from party members who identify as members of other equity-seeking groups.

The leader will be chosen through ranked ballot, meaning voters can choose the candidates they favour in order of preference, and contenders will take part in two leadership debates over the course of the race.

The leadership contest was triggered last month when Andrea Horwath, who led the NDP for 13 years, stepped down after the June 2 provincial election that saw her party returned to official opposition status in the legislature.

Toronto caucus veteran Peter Tabuns is the party’s current interim leader, while fellow legislature members Marit Stiles, Wayne Gates and Laura-Mae Lindo have all previously indicated they’re considering launching leadership bids.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2022.