As the world celebrates Black History Month, there is one woman who hopes to make history as Canada’s first black woman to lead a provincial party and to bring that party into power by defeating Premier Doug Ford.
Meet Mitzie Hunter, a 48-year-old Jamaican born, fearless woman who wants to lead Ontario’s Liberal Party.
“ It’s time for bold moves. I believe we can make our people healthier, create more jobs and shared prosperity, and make our communities stronger. I’m Mitzie Hunter, and I’m ready to build a stronger Ontario. Let’s be bold together,” she said on her Twitter page.
Ms Hunter currently is a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing the riding of Scarborough-Guildwood, since 2013. She previously served under the Kathleen Wynn government as Minister of Education and Minister of Advance Education and Skills Development.
Before entering politics, Ms Hunter pursued her MBA at Rotman School of Management, and with that tucked under her arm she took on major, high profile positions including CEO of the Toronto CivicAction Alliance, CAO of Toronto Community Housing and Vice President at Goodwill Industries.
Ms Hunter seems to have the whole package: intelligent, accomplished and is a fighter. However with only weeks to go until the leadership vote, she is lacking in delegates. Currently former MPP, Steven Del Duca is estimated to have 1,171 delegates out of a possible 2,724. The oddsmakers are betting Del Duca will take his lead into the March Liberal Leadership Convention and then do a victory lap.
But as we know and have seen in recent history, politics can be full of surprises. So don’t discount Ms Hunter just yet. She has bold ideas which she hopes will resonate with delegates, including; recognizing Election Day as a statutory day of civic celebrations and calling for advanced voting to be extended to four days and held over a weekend; restoring $750 million dollars that Premier Doug Ford cut from post-secondary access; put a price on pollution through a carbon levy equal to the federal price on pollution; and creating a housing plan that addresses the housing supply and affordability.
Ms Hunter is hoping delegates will recognize that she has what it takes to become the new Liberal Leader and she’s beaten the odds a few times throughout her life.
“ I’ve been a new Canadain, a business person, a community leader, a cabinet minister, a bridge-builder and a fighter. In every chapter of my life- growing up in Scarborough, starting a business during a recession, leading charities and non-profits, succeeding in tough cabinet jobs, and winning re-election last year- I’ve beaten the odds by listening more, learning more, working harder and bringing people together.” Hon. Mitzie Hunter