By Nicole Georges
Candidate for the 2020 Ontario Liberal party leadership race, Mitzie Hunter, is confident her political experience and promise of strong leadership, can revamp the fortunes of the Liberal party.
Hunter, in an exclusive interview with Caribbean Camera, outlined her strategy for rebuilding public support for the Liberal Party, “Should I be elected leader, I issue a challenge to Ontario Liberals that we would knock on a million doors before the 2022 election, and take the opportunity to rebuild the Party from the ground up, not top down. We will listen to everyday Ontarians and the concerns they have, and how they want to see the Liberal Party moving forward. I believe the Party’s values are aligned to the values of Ontarians in terms of strong health care and excellent education. If I’m voted leader and then Premiere, I’ve set a bold goal of 90 per cent graduation rate, and I would work towards that goal so that all our students achieve their best possible outcome.”
Hunter credits her interest in community development to her Jamaican born parents, “My parents worked very hard, but we always had dinner together as a family and talked about the experiences of our day, so that ability to give back and think about community came from my upbringing.” She adds her interest in community development, plus her political experience makes her a valid contender in the Liberal Party leadership race, “I bring strong leadership, having worked in business, non-profit leadership, having held 3 complex ministerial portfolios. I believe Ontario must have a strong future, as Canada’s economic engine. This is something that requires strong leadership and I believe I am the candidate who brings that to the race.”
Hunter, who attended the recent Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa, says Mayor Doug Ford’s recent announcement of cuts to municipalities is disappointing, “The Ford government talks about reviewing services and processes, and cutting funding for core services like public health and child care, yet there’s no consultation, no process that invites municipalities to the table to help make those decisions. It causes a lot of doubt and uncertainty for municipal leaders, many of whom are about to begin their budget cycles and they don’t have the information required to make those decisions. So will they have to raise taxes and create more costs for their residents? All of this is up in the air because of the approach of the Ford government,” Hunter says.
She also welcomed the fact that she is one of two Black Canadians vying for the top spot, “I think it’s wonderful that we’re at a stage in this province where we have two black leader in this race, and we can celebrate that and be proud. I’ll be focused on my campaign of taking my message of a strong vision of Ontario’s future to every corner of this province, and I’m already having such positive response to being a Black woman in this race.”