Ontario’s Consumer Services Minister, Margarett Best, has thrown her support behind Dr. Eric Hoskins in his bid to become the next Liberal Party leader and Dalton McGuinty’s successor as Premier.
The former Citizenship & Immigration and Children & Youth Services Minister is one of seven hopefuls in the race that culminates on January 26 with the leadership convention at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Best’s Scarborough-Guildwood riding executive is also supporting Dr. Hoskins following a vote on the candidate they would like to see lead the party.
“I wanted them to be involved in this process as opposed to me leading the way on this issue,” said Best who was first elected to the provincial legislature six years ago. “Eric won out even though the vote was not unanimous.”
Hoskins was Best’s seatmate in the legislature.
“Eric is very smart, he’s a humanitarian and he has fresh ideas,” said Best who, with Michael Coteau, are the only two Black members in the 107-seat legislature.”
A medical doctor by profession, Hoskins and his wife – Dr. Samantha Nutt – co-founded War Child Canada, which is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and support for war-affected children.
The Oxford-educated Rhodes Scholar and Officer of the Order of Canada has worked with the United Nations and non-governmental organizations in several conflict areas, including Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Best said she did not consider entering the leadership race.
“That is a huge task and undertaking with lots of sacrifices and responsibilities,” said the recipient of a Northern Caribbean University honorary doctorate.
At her annual levee last Sunday at the East Scarborough Boys & Girls Club, Best praised her constituents for their strength and support, particularly during the Danzig St. shooting that claimed the lives of two young people.
“The resilience and unity of area residents channelled our grief into positive progress and solutions from members right here in this community, neighbouring communities and local organizations,” she said.
Best and her constituency office organized for McGuinty to meet the families of those affected by the violent crime and they brought together politicians, young people, community leaders and organizations that serve youth to come up with solutions to end the violence.
As a result of the meetings, the provincial government rolled out a youth action plan last August with $20 million in new annual funding to improve the lives of young people in the city and the rest of the province.
By RON FANFAIR