Discover more from newsBeyond POLICORNER
SCOOP: It's Naqvi's turn
The Liberal leadership fray is about to grow
SCOOP: Naqvi's next.
Liberal MP Yasir Naqvi will jump into the provincial Grit leadership race — becoming the second candidate to make his "exploratory bid" official.
We got our hands on an email blast to supporters with fresh campaign branding ahead of Naqvi's official kickoff.
Save the date: Naqvi will formally enter the fray on Saturday, June 3, with a breakfast gathering in his hometown of Ottawa. He will later headline an evening launch event at a local banquet hall in Mississauga for GTAers. Here's the invite.
"Yasir has been travelling the province, meeting Liberals and hearing the concerns of hard-working Ontarians. And, one thing is clear, people want a change for better," the invite says. Meanwhile, the former attorney general, in an email to allies, urged supporters to "join me" to “rebuild our Ontario Liberal Party."
"People are struggling in Doug Ford's Ontario. Families are struggling to find a family doctor. Kids are struggling in over-crowded classrooms. People are working two or three jobs and still struggling to pay for rent and groceries," read Naqvi's email, inviting supporters to the kickoff event.
Naqvi's team has kept mum on the details of his launch, with one campaign operative saying "we think it's going to be a great day."
The email also revealed fresh branding for Team Naqvi — a pink red theme with Naqvi's name in capital, block letters, with a trillium on the letter Q. A new campaign slogan, "Libéral. Leader," is placed to the left of his name, embracing the bilingual "Libéral" in the party's logo.
Naqvi — who had been considering a run — formed an exploratory committee to seek advice on the move in December, recruiting veteran Grit strategists and campaign operatives to advise him on throwing his hat into the contest.
"What we're witnessing is Doug Ford and his Conservative government, very ideologically motivated, creating chaos in our important public institutions like health care and education to further their privatization agenda,” he told us in a phone interview in December. Read our interview with the incoming leadership contestant on his Queen's Park comeback.
He's the second one in: Naqvi joins federal caucus mate Nate Erskine-Smith in vying to replace former captain (now Vaughan Mayor) Steven Del Duca.
Erskine-Smith launched his crusade early last week, in an attempt "to make a difference, to make you see politics the way I see it, and to rebuild our party, ready to rebuild our province." He officially registered with Elections Ontario on Tuesday, according to the agency's listing.
But, who else? Liberal MPP Ted Hsu has been mulling over a bid — with speculation in the wind that he could jump into the race in a matter of days. Hsu's already updated his website branding and, as we first reported, fired up the social media advertising machine.
MPPs Adil Shamji and Stephanie Bowman have also been exploring a run. Meanwhile, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, viewed as a shoo-in for the leadership, had been "giving serious consideration" to entering the race and is expected to reach a verdict on a prospective leadership bid soon.
Liberals will elect their new captain in early December with the deadline for candidates to register is September 5.