This Liberal, gunning to be Ontario premier, helps Oshawa’s federal candidate

Ontario Liberal leadership candidate3 Steven Del Duca (second from left), canvassed with Oshawa riding Liberal candidate Afroza Hossain (third from left) and her team earlier this week. Photo credit: Liam David

Steven Del Duca made a stop in Oshawa to have his Liberal voice heard on two levels.

Del Duca came to the city last Wednesday as part of his own campaign to become leader of the Ontario Liberal party, but was also here to support federal candidates ahead of Monday’s election.

Walking door-to-well-manicured-door, Del Duca and Oshawa Lberal candidate Afroza Hossain encountered all manner of voter in the upscale Cartref Avenue neighbourhood (near the intersection of Thornton and Rossland roads). Many homeowners were undecided, some in passionate agreement with the Liberals, others in severe disagreement.

The door-knocking reflected the unstable time for Liberals at both federal and provincial levels.

Recent CBC and 338Canada polls indicate the federal Liberals are likely to lose their majority, if they remain in power at all. On the provincial front, a crushing defeat in 2018 robbed the Liberals of their official party status.

Del Duca’s visit serves not only to drum up support for his neophyte colleague -Hossain has never run for office before – but to spread his visage for his own campaign. He is in the midst of the Liberal leadership race, due to come to a head at their convention in February 2020.

Other provincial leadership candidates include Michael Coteau, MPP Don Valley East; Kate Graham, Western University instructor; Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough – Guildwood and Alvin Tedjo, former director at Sheridan College.

Del Duca was MPP of Vaughan from 2012-2018 and served as minister of transportation under Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Del Duca leads the field in terms of endorsements, with 33 notable people officially backing him. The closest runner-up, Coteau, touts 19 endorsements.

Del Duca has been gathering support by touring the province, making stops as far south as Harrow, as far north as Sault Ste. Marie and as far east as Ottawa. So far, he’s stopped in more than 60 communities. He says his tour stopped for the federal election when he began campaigning for federal candidates, visiting around 70 communities.

His campaign promises include running 30 candidates under age 30, a 50-50 gender split in candidates, free party membership, among other changes.

Del Duca says he’s running for the top job because he says, “as someone involved in the party since I was 15, I see the legislation coming out of Queen’s Park as a disaster for Ontario.”

The leader will be chosen on March 7, 2020 by nearly 2,000 party delegates.