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Canada Ottawa lawyer Brenda Hollingsworth running for top provincial Liberal job

22:55  25 november  2019
22:55  25 november  2019 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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Brenda Hollingsworth smiling for the camera: Facebook photo of Brenda Hollingsworth, running for the Liberal Leadership of Ontario. Facebook photo of Brenda Hollingsworth, running for the Liberal Leadership of Ontario.

Brenda Hollingsworth, who practises personal injury law in Ottawa, has announced she wants to run for the leadership of Ontario’s Liberal Party.

She would be the sixth contestant in the race. The party still has to approve her candidacy.

A leadership convention will be held in early March.

Hollingsworth, of the firm Auger Hollingsworth, is one of the lawyers suing the City of Ottawa on behalf of OC Transpo passengers injured in January’s fatal bus crash at Westboro Station. She was chosen as one of the city’s Businesswomen of the Year in 2009.

She has never run for elected office but was a campaign worker for the Liberal Party at election time. She says a priority for the party is to attract new candidates. “I have a number of ideas about how to get people who are not traditionally in the inner circle — how to get new people to step up,” she said.

The Liberals are trying to rebuild after last spring’s election defeat left them with only six seats in the legislature, too few for official party status.

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The five candidates already in the race are:

• Michael Coteau — The former child and youth services minister under former premier Kathleen Wynne, Coteau announced he would seek the party leadership earlier this year. Representing the Toronto riding of Don Valley East, the 47-year-old is pledging to eliminate public transit fares as part of his platform.

• Steven Del Duca — The 45-year-old former cabinet member held the roles of economic development minister and transportation minister in Wynne’s government before losing his Vaughan, Ont. seat last spring. Del Duca has an extensive history with the party in a variety of roles, including as a political staffer to former finance minister Greg Sorbara.

• Mitzie Hunter — The former education minister, 48, represents the Toronto riding of Scarborough-Guildwood. She said the party’s goals would include raising the high school education rate to 90 per cent, and making it easier for workers to upgrade their skills or obtain new credentials. She wants the province’s health insurance to cover mental health care for people under 30.

• Kate Graham — The 35-year-old Western University politics instructor ran unsuccessfully for the Liberals in last year’s election in a London-area riding, where she lives. In addition to her academic career and research, Graham also spent a decade as a public servant for the City of London.

• Alvin Tedjo — The former candidate for the party has proposed one of the most controversial ideas of the leadership race — merging the public and Catholic school boards. Tedjo said the measure would save the province $1.6 billion a year and help the government deliver smaller class sizes.

— With files from The Canadian Press

tspears@postmedia.com

twitter.com/TomSpears1

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