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Crombie ready to take on Premier

By Randy Thoms Dec 4, 2023 | 5:44 PM

Courtesy Ontario Liberal TV/YouTube screen grab, December 2, 2023

The new leader of the provincial Liberal party is ready for Premier Doug Ford.

Bonnie Crombie was elected leader following three rounds of voting in the leadership race on the weekend.

The PCs were quick to portray Bonnie Crombie as a tax and spend Liberal shortly after her leadership win.

“Sounds a little schizophrenic,” says Crombie. “Maybe I should ask Doug Ford the next time he puts out a fundraising letter about me, (he) should give me a cut.”

Crombie will not be facing the Premier in the legislature anytime soon.

She does not have a seat at Queen’s Park and is not making any immediate plans to gain one.

“John Fraser says it’s more important to go out and continue to spread the liberal message, let people get to know me, speak to them, listen to them, so we can develop a platform that speaks to their needs. But certainly, if a seat opened up, particularly if it were in Mississauga, that would be great. I would seek it,” says Crombie.

The mayor of Mississauga adds there are some municipal responsibilities she also wants to complete, including the introduction of a new budget,

Crombie takes over a party that has failed to gain official party status in the last two provincial elections.

Crombie says there is a lot of work to do to build the party back up.

“I need to be out in those small communities meeting, liberals listening. They all feel neglected. They all feel isolated. We need to create policy that will address all of their needs. We need to start recruiting candidates and get them working early. And yes, and I’ve said it many times, we need to raise a war chest so we can be competitive because right now, we’re being fundraised ten to one by the Conservatives. So we’ll need to focus on raising money so we can be competitive in 2026.”

Crombie is optimistic, noting that the five candidates in the leadership race signed over 100,000 as Liberal members who were eligible for the vote.

Only about a quarter of them cast ballots.