Two political heavyweights, including one from a rival party, have thrown their support behind St. Paul’s MPP Eric Hoskins’ leadership bid for the Ontario Liberal party.
Former Liberal prime minister John Turner and Roy McMurtry, former chief justice of Ontario and former attorney general and solicitor general under Progressive Conservative governments, said Wednesday they are endorsing Hoskins.
“Eric Hoskins represents important generational change for the Ontario Liberal Party,” Turner said in a statement.
“He is a leader who brings experience, not just from his time as a cabinet minister, but also from his career outside of politics, where he has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to public service and to bettering the lives of others.”
Hoskins, who stepped down as minister of children and youth services to run for the leadership under the party’s rules, is the co-founder and former president of War Child Canada dedicated to helping children in war-torn areas around the world, a doctor, a public health specialist, a Rhodes scholar and an officer of the Order of Canada.
McMurtry said he first met Hoskins 25 years ago when he was a Rhodes scholar.
“Since then, I have followed his impressive career with great interest and my respect for him has only grown stronger,” he said.
“We need more people like Eric Hoskins in politics. He is one of the most conscientious people I know and he will make an outstanding premier.”
Liberals will choose their new leader, who automatically becomes premier, at a convention being held at Maple Leaf Gardens from Jan. 25 to 27.
Other candidates are Don Valley West MPP Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Centre MPP Glen Murray, former Parkdale-High Park MPP Gerard Kennedy, Mississauga MPPs Charles Sousa and Harinder Takhar and former Windsor MPP Sandra Pupatello.