Ontario Liberal leadership candidate set for final debate before convention

TORONTO — The six candidates vying to become the new leader of Ontario’s Liberal party are set for their final debate tonight.

The party suffered the worst defeat in its history during the June 2018 election, being toppled from power and ultimately not winning enough seats to maintain official party status.

Delegates will choose former premier Kathleen Wynne’s successor at a convention on March 7.

Former cabinet minister Steven Del Duca has emerged as the clear front-runner, with the support of about 43 per cent of the delegates selected for the convention.

He says he is also close to securing the support of 200 of the approximately 640 so-called “ex-officio” delegates — largely party heavyweights — which could put him over 50 per cent and mean a first ballot victory.

The other contenders are former cabinet ministers Michael Coteau and Mitzie Hunter, and newcomers Kate Graham, Alvin Tedjo and Brenda Hollingsworth.

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