Mike Schreiner says he's thinking about running for leader of Ontario Liberals
Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner smiles as supporters clap during a press conference at Bloor-Bedford Parkette in Toronto as part of his campaign tour, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Published Monday, January 30, 2023 5:55PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 30, 2023 7:10PM EST
Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner has indicated he may cross the floor and run to lead the provincial Liberal Party after a group of 40 members reached out in a public letter over the weekend.
Over the last few months Schreiner—who was the first Green Party MPP to be elected in Ontario in 2018—has been combatting rumours that he will run for leadership of the opposing party.
But in a statement released Monday, he indicates it may be a possibility.
“As you know, I have always said that I have no ambition to lead any party other than the Ontario Green Party. Yesterday I received a serious letter from people who expressed concerns I share about the current government and the need for urgent action on the climate crisis,” Schreiner said. “They have reached out across party lines in a unique way in the spirit of doing politics differently.”
“So, I’m going to ask people to give me time to think about their arguments.”
Schreiner added that he hopes to talk to his constituents and get more feedback before making a decision. He also reiterated that he remains focused on representing those constituents and “working with people in the fight to protect the Greenbelt.”
The statement comes a day after 40 Liberals wrote a letter to Schreiner over the weekend in which they take an “unprecedented step to reach outside our ranks” in an effort to find a leader.
“Our party needs to rediscover a politics of purpose and principle. We need to reach out to a new generation of voters. We need to open up to new people and new ideas and to embrace the kind of energy and enthusiasm that is driving grassroots activism and engagement across the province,” the letter reads.
“And that’s why we’re turning to you.”
The letter cites Schreiner’s “strong principle-based approach” and ability to “motivate activists” as some of the reasons why he would make a good candidate for leader.
“We know what kind of future we want for our children and grandchildren,” the letter reads.
“We are ready to roll up our sleeves and make it happen. But we need a leader to guide us there. We believe that you can be such a leader.”
The Ontario Liberal Party has been without a permanent leader since its devastating loss during the June 2022 elections. Veteran MPP for Ottawa South John Fraser has taken the helms as interim leader until a successor has been chosen.
The Liberals are taking their time to find the right person, they said, and are set to launch consultations on the leadership election process shortly.