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Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi enters Ontario Liberal leadership race

Yasir Naqvi has joined the race to become the next leader of Ontario’s Liberal party.

The Ottawa Centre MP and former provincial cabinet minister announced his run Saturday, saying he wanted to vie for the job because he feels “the promise of Ontario is slipping away” amid education and health care cuts made by the Progressive Conservatives. He also singled out soaring housing and grocery costs as issues plaguing the province and its residents.

“My mission is to transform our party, in every single riding, all 124. So we can stop (Ontario Premier Doug) Ford in 2026 — and get back to the promise of Ontario,” he said in a press release.

“It shouldn’t matter if you are born in Windsor, Timmins or Karachi. In our province, you should have the opportunity to succeed — to lead a good life that’s affordable. That’s the promise of Ontario.”

Naqvi stepped down from his role as a parliamentary secretary in March to explore a possible provincial leadership run.

He was elected federally in 2021 but had served for nearly nine years at the provincial legislature, including as Ontario’s attorney general and labour minister.

Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Kingston and the Islands MPP Ted Hsu have already entered the race. Mississauga, Ont., mayor Bonnie Crombie and Toronto-area MPP Adil Shamji are also exploring leadership bids.

Party members will cast their votes by ranked ballot on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26, with the Liberals set to announce round-by-round results the following weekend. A new leader will be announced on Dec. 2.

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