Navdeep Bains Clears Rumours, Declines Ontario Liberal Leadership Race
Since Del Duca's resignation, the party has struggled to find a permanent leader, and many potential candidates have declined the opportunity.
Navdeep Bains, the former MP of Mississauga – Malton, has announced that he will not be running for the Ontario Liberal leadership. The Ontario Liberals have been without a permanent leader since the provincial election on June 2, 2022, after former leader Steven Del Duca stepped down following the party’s second crushing defeat to Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives. The Liberal’s 15-year streak in power under Premier Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne ended in 2018 with their most brutal defeat in Ontario’s political history and the party’s 161-year existence.
Since Del Duca’s resignation, the party has struggled to find a permanent leader, and many potential candidates have declined the opportunity. Among those who have declined are Lucille Collard, Mohamad Fakih, Jeff Lehman, and Bill Mauro. Mitzie Hunter, the incumbent Scarborough—Guildwood MPP, has set her sights on the recently vacated Toronto Mayor’s office.
Green Leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner was also coaxed by some Liberal MPPs to cross the floor and lead them, but he decided he could do the most good as Green Leader.
Recently, former Mississauga and Brampton MP Navdeep Bains declined the leadership, stating that he is focused on his family, work, and community and that he looks forward to helping rebuild the party as a member, not as a leadership candidate.
Despite the lack of declared candidates, many names remain in the ring for the Liberal’s top job, including Yvan Baker, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Stephen Blais, Stephanie Bowman, Michael Coteau, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Ted Hsu, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Yasir Naqvi, Dr. Adil Shamji, Glenn Thibeault, and Arif Virani. Mississauga Mayor and former MP Bonnie Crombie is a favorite, but she has repeatedly stated that she remains focused on her current job. The date for the Ontario Liberal leadership election has not yet been set.