The race for the leadership of Ontario's Liberal Party appears to be getting two more candidates.

Liberal MPPs Eric Hoskins, who represents the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, and Charles Sousa, who represents Mississauga South, have resigned from their cabinet positions and are expected to launch bids for the party's leadership.

Hoskins was minister of children and youth services, while Sousa served as minister of citizenship and immigration, in addition to being the minister responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games.

Both announced their resignations Friday morning and are hinting at taking a run at the premier's chair.

Hoskins said he wants to be part of the Ontario Liberal Party's renewal, and he plans to make an announcement at a news conference early next week, fuelling speculation that he will attempt to become the province's next premier.

"In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to the renewal that our party will undergo. I want to be a part of that renewal," Hoskins said in the statement. "Together, I am confident that we can move our party forward with strong, compassionate leadership rooted in principled politics."

Hoskins tendered his resignation to outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty on Thursday night. Hoskins, a 51-year-old family doctor by trade, was first elected as an MPP in a byelection in 2009.

The Oxford-educated Rhodes scholar is perhaps more well-known outside political circles as a humanitarian who started War Child Canada with his wife, Dr. Samantha Nutt. They have a seven-year-old son, Rhys.

Hoskins is an Officer of the Order of Canada and received the United Nations Lester B. Pearson Peace Medal as well as the Governor General's Meritorious Service Cross.

With rumours swirling around Sousa's intention to run for McGuinty's job, his resignation does not come as a surprise. The former Royal Bank of Canada executive and business owner is scheduled to make an announcement in Mississauga on Saturday.

In a statement, Sousa also talked about party renewal.

"As we embark in our party's renewal process, I hope to continue to serve Ontarians in the spirit of passion and integrity the Premier has exemplified during his time in office," he said.

Sousa was first elected in the 2007 provincial election. He and his wife Zenny have three children.

So far, three people have officially entered the race to replace McGuinty – MPPs Glen Murray and Kathleen Wynne, who both resigned from their cabinet positions, and former MPP Sandra Pupatello.

Ontario's Liberals will select a new leader, who will become the province's new premier, in Toronto in January. Candidates have until Nov. 23 to enter the race.

With files from The Canadian Press

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