Kingston and the Islands MPP Ted Hsu saw his bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party in the next election come to an end last Saturday, with Bonnie Crombie being selected as the leader of the provincial party.
Hsu entered as a candidate for the position in late May, and remained in the race until the first round of this weekend’s voting where he was eliminated with a 10 per cent vote share among the four remaining candidates.
Hsu said he and his team didn’t expect to win but, based on projections, they were a bit disappointed to not garner more support. However the MPP said “it is what it is” and that he’s focused on his work at Queen’s Park and working alongside the new Liberal leader.
He said the candidates are, for the most part, on the same page when it comes to priorities.
“I think over the course of the leadership race the different candidate’s policies and agendas started to converge,” Hsu said.
“What we want to do now is rebuild the party. We agree on doing that.”
MPs Nate Erskine-Smith and Yasir Naqvi rounded out the four remaining options alongside Hsu and Crombie, with Hsu standing alone as a current MPP among candidates.
Hsu said the candidates and the party are committed to opposing Doug Ford and the Conservatives in the next election, but he’s the only one of the four who can do that until 2026.
“Many of the problems that people are worried about, they can’t wait until the 2026 election,” he said.
“They need somebody to do something now to oppose the Ford government, to make the government do better than it otherwise would. So, that’s my job.”
Hsu said Crombie’s victory wasn’t a surprise, she was the perceived front-runner throughout the campaign and Hsu says she started out with some good name recognition and a larger team behind her than other candidates that helped to give her a “running start”. Ultimately Crombie edged out Erskine-Smith with 53.4 per cent of ranked ballot points.
Hsu said the party has to put its limited resources to good use in an upcoming election, and the leader will have to work closely with the caucus while staying in touch with people in all reaches of the province.
The next provincial election is expected to take place in June 2026.
Owen Fullerton is a Kingston-based reporter with the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI).