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3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hampton to step down as NDP leader: Sources

Jun 13, 2008 06:14 PM
Keith Leslie

Ontario New Democratic Party chief Howard Hampton will trigger a leadership race Saturday by announcing that he will not seek re-election as leader at the party's next convention in March, 2009, The Canadian Press has learned.

Party sources said Hampton, 56, planned to announce his decision to step down as leader when he speaks to delegates at an NDP provincial council meeting in Toronto Saturday.

The sources told the news agency that Hampton would agree to stay on as the member of the legislature for Kenora-Rainy River, at least until the next Ontario election in 2011, but would step down as leader after 12 years.

He will tell the delegates that he wants to spend more time with his wife, Shelley Martel, and their two children, Jonathan and Sarah.

Hampton has been at the helm of Ontario's New Democrats since 1996, when he took over from former premier Bob Rae, who is now a federal Liberal MP.

There has been very few signs of candidates waiting in the wings for Hampton to depart so they could launch leadership bids, but a few names repeatedly come up including former elected New Democrats Marilyn Churley and Frances Lankin, who lost the party's last leadership race to Hampton in 1996.

Other names that are mentioned as possible leadership contenders include two of the party's newer members of the legislature, Cheri DiNovo and Peter Tabuns, both of whom represent Toronto ridings.

Hampton led the party through three provincial elections, but failed to make any real gains in popular support or the number of NDP seats in the Ontario legislature.

In fact, the party was hurt so badly by strategic voting in 1999 and 2003, which saw traditional NDP supporters voting Liberal in an all-out effort to unseat the unpopular Conservative government, that they failed to win enough seats for official party status.

Hampton had to ask the Conservatives to reduce the number of seats needed for official party status after the 1999 election so the NDP could ask questions in the legislature and tap into funds for caucus members.

But following the 2003 election, the NDP had to wait until March 2004 to again return to official party status when they took the Hamilton-East seat from the Liberals in a byelection.

The NDP struggled to have their voice heard in last year's Ontario election as voters and the media focused almost exclusively on Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory's unpopular plan to offer public funding for private religious schools.

Hampton's biggest election coverage last year came during a campaign stop in Hamilton when he lost his temper with the media for failing to look at what he said were the real issues affecting people's lives, repeatedly asking reporters why they didn't care.

The strain of the election campaign appeared to catch up with Hampton on voting day – Oct. 10, 2007 – as he choked up while talking about his father George, who died the previous year.

"This is a tough one. My dad has been involved in every election campaign since I was 14 years old, every one," Hampton said as he fought back tears walking into the Fort Frances, Ont., polling station with his mother Elsie.

"This will be the first election campaign in 41 years that he hasn't put up all the signs. That's tough."

Hampton's wife, Shelley Martel, who had also served in Bob Rae's cabinet in the early 1990s, retired from elected politics before last year's Ontario election after 20 years as the member for the Sudbury riding of Nickel Belt, the same riding held by her father, Eli, for 20 years before her.

Hampton, the son of a mill worker, grew up in the northern Ontario community of Crozier and worked as a teacher and a labour lawyer before entering politics.

He was first elected to the legislature in 1987, and was both attorney general and natural resources minister in Rae's cabinet.

Hampton earned his law degree from the University of Ottawa, his Bachelor of education from the University of Toronto and his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Welcome to the Rail World
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I don't have a problem with Hampton's policies or his personality, but he's a weak leader and not doing the party any favours.

I'd love to see Frances Lankin (who was my local MPP back when I was too young to vote) lead the party but I am very doubtful she'll jump back into the fray.

Hampton is kinda like the Canadian version of John Edwards; good person, just can't resonate with the public at large.

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I knew her name would come up, I even mentioned her name in the last election thread. She's my MPP.....

Hamilton MPP 'would be excellent leader' of NDP

June 14, 2008
Paul Morse
The Hamilton Spectator

A senior federal New Democrat predicts Hamilton MPP Andrea Horwath will be a frontrunner in the provincial race to replace leader Howard Hampton.

“If Andrea Horwath declares, she will have my 100 per cent support,” said David Christopherson, MP for Hamilton Centre this morning.

Christopherson, who made his prediction hours before Hampton formally announces his retirement this afternoon, said he does not know if Howath will throw her hat into the ring. If she does, it will not be until Monday, he said.

“This weekend belongs to Howard and the fact that he stopped into such a disaster in 1996 and worked his guts out to pull the party out of the muck and mire we were in.”

Other MPP thought to be mulling a run at the top job are Toronto-area MPP Michael Prue and Peter Tabuns.

Also mentioned have been former MPPs Marilyn Churley and Frances Lankin.

But Christopherson, on hand at Hamilton’s Gay Pride parade, said Horwath will quickly turn into a force in the leadership race.

“She a talented, effective strong young woman who would be an excellent leader.

“The fact that she is a leader is a plus, but this is about her abilities. Everybody in Hamilton knows her qualities, and we just need a chance to project that across the province.

“She would develop serious momentum, and by Labour Day, she would be on everybody’s shortlist as frontrunner and potential winner.”

Horwath, Hamilton Centre MPP, has not been available for comment today.

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Long, hard race looms for Ont. NDP leadership

Updated Tue. Jun. 24 2008 8:58 AM ET

The Canadian Press

TORONTO -- School may be out for most Ontario politicians, but the provincial NDP are girding for what promises to be a long and gruelling leadership race that could pit several members of its 10-person caucus against each other in a bid for the top job.

Those rumoured to be eyeing a leadership bid likely won't make it official until the campaign begins July 15, and there's little doubt that the eight-month race is looking more like a marathon than a sprint to finish.

Candidates will endure months of leadership debates and exhausting trips across the province to recruit new members before departing leader Howard Hampton steps down next March after nearly 13 years at the helm.

Having steered the NDP through its darkest days - including losing its official party status twice - Hampton will need to hand off the leadership to someone who can make the party exciting again if the New Democrats plan to shore up more support ahead of the 2011 election, experts say.

So far, the list of potential hopefuls includes four members of the Ontario caucus - Peter Tabuns, Michael Prue, Gilles Bisson and Andrea Horwath - as well as several federal MPs and a few former politicians.

Only Bisson, a 51-year-old francophone who represents the northern riding of Timmins-James Bay, has publicly acknowledged his leadership ambitions.

"I'm basically trying to put together a team right now," he said recently.

"If everything goes well and I have all the key people I need, I would like to make an announcement in early July."

Others prominent names have been dropped from the list, including Cheri DiNovo, a United Church minister, who doesn't intend to run despite being named as an early favourite.

Toronto Mayor David Miller, a former card-carrying NDPer, is believed to be a "dream candidate" for the party, but it's unlikely he'll quit his job to make a run for the leadership.

Former provincial New Democrat Marilyn Churley said she doesn't intend to run, having her eye on a Toronto seat in the next federal election. Frances Lankin, who lost the race to Hampton in 1996, apparently doesn't want the job either.

Two federal MPs from Ontario - Charlie Angus and David Christopherson - have also crossed themselves off the list. Christopherson, who served in the 1990s as solicitor-general in former NDP premier Bob Rae's cabinet, has even thrown his support behind Horwath, a fellow Hamilton New Democrat.

Horwath, whose byelection victory in 2004 restored the NDP to official party status, would become its first woman leader if she replaces Hampton.

Meanwhile, Tabuns and Prue both represent ridings in vote-rich Toronto, which could secure the kind of support the NDP needs to win more seats in the next election.

Tabuns, a former city councillor and executive director of Greenpeace, failed to win a federal seat in 2004 but is widely expected to come forward as a candidate to replace Hampton.

Prue has frequently pressed for better conditions for the province's poorest residents, even going so far as attempting to live on a $12.75-a-week "welfare diet" in 2002 to bring attention to those living in poverty under the previous Conservative government.

Headline-grabbing tactics like that are just what the party needs to move it beyond third party status in Ontario politics, experts say.

Hampton, 56, led the New Democrats through three provincial elections, but failed to make any real gains in popular support or the number of seats in the legislature.

As strange as it may sound, the NDP's next chief may want to take a page from the playbook of former Conservative premier Mike Harris, said Greg Inwood, a politics professor at Toronto's Ryerson University.

"When Mike Harris became leader of the Conservative Party, they were languishing in third place," he said.

"Everyone thought they were finished as a political force for probably a generation. But Mike Harris went around to the church basements and the community centres and the legion halls, and he went and he talked to people on the ground, and he reinvigorated the party from the bottom up."

But it will be difficult to draw votes away from the governing Liberals, who have benefited from strategic voting by traditional NDP supporters in an effort to keep the Conservatives at bay, said Bob Drummond, a political science professor and dean of York University's Faculty of Arts.

"I wouldn't put it all on the leader's shoulders, but obviously they need to find a leadership candidate who would stand out to voters as someone they could recognize as being an exciting and interesting personality, (that) would be invaluable," he said.

"It's hard to find someone like that, frankly."

The punishing leadership battle ahead may help shape the party's next leader. Candidates will have to keep their spending under $500,000 and will be racing to sign up new members before January to secure support ahead of the party convention in March.

The one-member, one-vote system promises to be quite lucrative for the NDP, which charges $25 per membership or $5 for students and the unemployed. The Progressive Conservatives and Liberals charge about $10 each, with special rates for seniors and students.

NDP officials are also planning a series of candidates debates - potentially as many as 12-between October and February, which may end up being streamed online to reach far-flung members.

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Andrea Horwath makes quiet bid for NDP leadership

October 29, 2008
Andrew Dreschel
The Hamilton Spectator

Maybe it just got lost in the pseudo-excitement of the Canadian federal election.

Or maybe it got buried under the avalanche of American election coverage and nauseating glut of Sarah Palin trivia.

Whatever the reason, the fact Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath is running to replace outgoing Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton seems to have somehow fallen between the chairs.

Horwath is not only in the race, but she officially registered as a candidate back in mid-September.

She suspects some of the uncertainty about her place in the contest stems from the fact she hasn't formally launched her campaign yet.

With the party's first leadership debate scheduled for Nov. 8 -- four days after the distracting agony of the American election comes to an end -- time is now running out on her.

"I'll be making an announcement before those debates occur on Nov. 8," Horwath said yesterday.

She says she delayed formally plunging into the race in order to give herself more time to assemble a campaign team, an effort that was sidelined by the federal election.

"I'm not going to be building a team while all the team members are working on a federal campaign and doing other work," she said.

"We didn't want to draw resources away from that very important priority at the time."

But with the federal election now history, Horwath says she redoubled her efforts to put together a lineup of helpers which, she says, will be reflected in her upcoming announcement.

The leadership convention will be held in Hamilton on March 7-8.

That's when Hampton, who has been leader since 1996, will officially step down.

Horwath is facing three other rivals for the job, all of them members of the 10-member NDP caucus.

The latest addition arrived this week in the form of MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth).

Tabuns, a former executive director of Greenpeace Canada and a former Toronto councillor and deputy mayor, was first elected in a 2006 byelection.

MPP Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay) and Michael Prue (Beaches-East York) are the other two contenders.

Bisson, the party's whip, has been an MPP for almost two decades.

Prue, a former East York mayor and councillor, was first elected in a 2001 byelection.

Horwath herself was first elected to the legislature in the 2004 byelection held to replace the late Dominic Agostino.

Her win was a huge victory because it restored official party status to the New Democrats, and the funding that goes with it, which they lost in the 2003 election when they fell below eight seats.

Respected for her political smarts and steam power, Horwath came to the job after representing Ward 2 on city council from 1997 to mid-2004.

If elected, she would be the first woman to lead the Ontario NDP, which was formed in 1961 as a successor to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.

Though "heartened" by the positive response to her candidacy, Horwath says she's keenly aware that it's a "huge undertaking with significant ramifications" for both her personal and professional life.

That's a recurring theme for her, one she first floated back in June when she was only considering throwing her hat in the ring.

"I really want to make sure that I have everything I need to win," she said back then. "I'm not jumping into this as a whim."

Presumably, months later, her mindset and everything else she needs to have a good shot at winning are now firmly in place.

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Horwath launches bid to lead NDP

Dana Brown
The Hamilton Spectator
(Nov 8, 2008)

It was likely over Sunday dinner that the idea of Andrea Horwath leading the provincial New Democratic Party seriously took root.

Ben, her partner of 25 years, told her the party needed her. She should think about running.

That was around the time party leader Howard Hampton decided he was stepping down after 12 years at the helm.

Horwath, 46, thought about it. And talked about it. And talked about it some more.

"It's a conversation that we let roll around in our household for a couple of months," she said.

"We talked about it, we put it away, we brought it back out again, we kicked it around, we brought our son (Julian, 15) into the conversation."

There was no "eureka moment" when she decided to go for it.

Rather, the decision evolved as part of a process, which included detailed self-reflection.

"You really have to get in touch with yourself about whether you have those qualities that leadership require(s) at this level," she said.

"And also those qualities that taking on this kind of venture take."

By the end of the summer -- Horwath can't pinpoint a date -- the former Hamilton city councillor was committed to jumping in.

Her political inspiration doesn't come from a lone, gigantic figure, but rather from her belief in the power of the collective. She reaches back to memories of being in university, learning about Gandhi and the changes he brought forward.

"It's the strength of people and it's the vision that we can come up with collectively that really creates the momentum for change that keeps me inspired," she said.

Yesterday, in front of a crowd of about 250 supporters at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, Horwath made her long-rumoured candidacy official.

Three other MPPs are also in the running: Peter Tabuns of Toronto-Danforth, Gilles Bisson of Timmins-James Bay and Michael Prue of Beaches-East York in Toronto.

First elected to the Ontario legislature in a 2004 byelection, Horwath has also served as a downtown city councillor and worked as a community development co-ordinator at a legal clinic.

She was instrumental in getting firefighters compensated for certain occupational diseases caused by workplace exposure to toxins by introducing Bill 111, the Bob Shaw Act, as a private members bill.

Bob Shaw is a Hamilton firefighter who died of cancer after battling the city's toxic Plastimet blaze.

The bill prompted the government to produce its own legislation covering firefighter occupational illness and compensation.

It's accomplishments like that Horwath says she'll look to when she gets tired, or if a debate doesn't go well -- another source of strength, in addition to her family and her relationships in the community.

"I've never been in a situation where I've not been able to dig deep and find what I need to take something over a finish line," she said.

Mark Sproule-Jones, professor emeritus in the political science department at McMaster University, said he believes Horwath has a very good shot at the leadership.

And with the volatility Ontarians are faced with, the NDP may even come to power in the 2011 election, he speculated.

"I think people are crying out for some kind of new initiative," Sproule-Jones said. "And particularly now, with the economies the way they are."

Horwath also talks about winning. And she shakes off any notions that shadows from Bob Rae's 1990-1995 NDP government are hanging over her campaign.

"Rae's a Liberal now," she said. "He's long shaken off."

The NDP will elect its new leader at a convention to be held in Hamilton March 7-8.

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Catholic school funding surfaces in NDP debate
Updated: Sat Nov. 08 2008 2:57:56 PM

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The controversial topic of public funding for Catholic schools re-emerged Saturday at the first debate between candidates vying to become leader of Ontario's New Democrats, along with warnings about focusing on issues that could divide the third-placed party as it attempts to rebuild itself.

Three of the four leadership contenders tried to distance themselves from the proposal that helped sink the Progressive Conservatives in the last provincial election, saying the party needs to focus on the issues that unite and strengthen it.

"The next election needs to be fought on the economy, on the environment and rebuilding equity and fairness to this province," Peter Tabuns, former head of Greenpeace Canada, told a gathering of more than 200 supporters.

"We looked at what happened in the last election when (Progressive Conservative Leader) John Tory rolled his party over a cliff on the faith-based funding issue. The simple reality in this province is that when you take on those issues, it means everything else gets cleared off the table."

Michael Prue, who got into hot water earlier this year by suggesting it's time the NDP reviewed its policy of supporting public funding for Catholic schools, refused to back away from the issue, saying party members have the right to debate any topic they wish.

"(In) the last four conventions this issue has been on the convention floor and (in) the last four conventions the party brass has refused to allow it to come forward -- that is not democracy," said Prue, a former East York mayor.

"All I'm saying to this party is that if the members want to discuss this issue, then the members should have the right to put it on the convention floor and to vote on it."

Tory spent much of the 2007 election campaign defending a proposal to give $400 million a year to religious schools which opt into the public system. But the fierce debate that ensued eroded Tory's public support and left him without a seat in the legislature.

Prue has maintained he isn't trying to re-open that debate and said that Tory took on the issue "on the wrong side" by seeking to extend funding.

"I haven't heard anyone in the New Democratic party wanting to go down this route, but we have to determine if the current system is against the United Nations charter of which we are a signatory nation."

But party veteran Gilles Bisson was one of three contenders who warned faith-based funding was an issue that would divide the party.

"It is really the third rail of politics; the Liberals would love nothing better," Bisson said.

"We need to focus on those issues that bind us together and that are dealing with the issues of today, such as the environment and the economy."

When it comes to the province's finances, Bisson said, he believes it's research and innovation that will create jobs, while Prue argued his track record balancing the books as mayor during a recession shows he can tackle the economy.

Tabuns said the way to help the struggling auto sector is by linking the environment and the economy, while Hamilton's Andrea Horwath, who entered the race Friday, said she wants to remove barriers for unions to organize and improve jobs.

All four candidates agree, however, that rebuilding the party leading to the next provincial election in 2011 will be a key priority.

"If we are going to win the next provincial election, we're only going to do it if we are organized," said Horwath, who has a background as a grassroots organizer.

"I have experience there."

The NDP hasn't been the ruling party in Ontario since former premier Bob Rae took the reins in 1990. Rae presided over one of the most challenging periods of the province's history, inheriting a $700-million deficit and at one point projecting a record deficit of $9.1 billion.

The Ontario NDP is sponsoring nine regional debates in advance of the leadership convention in March to replace outgoing Leader Howard Hampton, who will step down after 13 years at the helm.

The candidates will travel to Sudbury, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Timmins, Hamilton and Thunder Bay.

1,047 Posts
The current leader is?
Absolutely not. Hampton is woefully uncharismatic and strange-looking. The sides of his mouth are incapable of turning upward to form a smile. When he tries to smile, his mouth just opens wide, revealing his vampire-like canines. But he's a guy with his heart and mind in the right place, from my perspective as a leftist.

Look, I vote policy, not appearance or persona. But let's face it, a frighteningly large proportion of the electorate is, or at least seems, stupid and superficially-engaged enough to vote based on image, so it would be beneficial for the NDP to have someone who can enliven and impassion the mindless masses of e-sheep rather than put them to sleep. I thought Ed Broadbent and Audrey McLaughlin - on the national level - had something approaching, if not charisma, then at least comfortingly authoritative presences (i.e. gravitas).
Trudeau had a combination of charisma, intellect, and severity that only comes along in politics once every few generations, far and away unmatched by even Obama or Bill Clinton.

Welcome to the Rail World
6,002 Posts
If the party wants to rebuild itself, it can't be just a labour unions party. In the past, it has claimed to be an environmentally friendly party, yet it supports propping up uncompetitive and poorly managed auto sectors in this province that create envionmentally damaging CRAP!

As for faith-based schools, the Green Party has gotten on the right side of the fence on that issue, they chose the opposite side of the Tories in the last provincial election and they had a good showing.

21,603 Posts
Hampton is woefully uncharismatic and strange-looking. The sides of his mouth are incapable of turning upward to form a smile. When he tries to smile, his mouth just opens wide, revealing his vampire-like canines.

Our reasoning for not voting for him in 2003 (Not that anyone in my family voted, I was 15 and both of my parents are apathetic to politics.) was because he looked like our Catholic neighbour, whose family terrorized my brother and I when we were little, since we didn't go to church. (That experience forms the basis of my not liking religious people. Cute, huh? :) Her autistic daughter bit me a lot. She was a little Satan, that one.) I voted Green in 2007, the only member of my family who voted.

It will be the first time Northwestern Ontario isn't represented by a party leader since 1992. After Dalton replaced Lyn McLeod (TB-Atikokan) in 1996, Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River) took over the NDP for Rae.

Out of the 2007 election party leaders, I'd say Tory had the closest thing to a "charisma". His "as charismatic as a block of cheese" beat out Dalton's "as charismatic as a rotten tomato" and Hampton's "ND-What?". As for the Greens, my brother and his friends support them because they think its the marijuana party. I told him its not but they support it, so he still supports them. He'll be old enough to vote in less than a year, but I know he won't bother.

1,047 Posts
Our reasoning for not voting for him in 2003 (Not that anyone in my family voted, I was 15 and both of my parents are apathetic to politics.) was because he looked like our Catholic neighbour, whose family terrorized my brother and I when we were little, since we didn't go to church. (That experience forms the basis of my not liking religious people. Cute, huh? :)
Psst, between the two of us, I have a certain amount of disdain for religious people too, although I simultaneously censure myself for the blanket intolerance that represents. I just find it feeble-minded to believe in fairy tales simply for the sake of a sense of group belonging. But one has to acknowledge that most people grew up swathed in religion and don't know any different.
I voted Green in 2007, the only member of my family who voted.
I voted Green for the first time this past federal election. A lot of good that did. More than anything, I'm furious Ontarians rejected proportional representation during last year's provincial. It could have been a positive bellwether for the rest of the country; instead, the issue probably won't be broached again for some time to come. The present system benefits the two main parties and no one else; it's an albatross to true democracy.
Out of the 2007 election party leaders, I'd say Tory had the closest thing to a "charisma". His "as charismatic as a block of cheese" beat out Dalton's "as charismatic as a rotten tomato" and Hampton's "ND-What?".
Not that I would vote for him, but Tory would be more convincing if he had some intellectual honesty and didn't spend all his media capital lambasting McGuinty. Hampton does the same. It's one thing to disagree with someone, but to have nothing good to say about him or his decisions is nothing less than a put-on.

21,603 Posts
"I simultaneously censure myself for the blanket intolerance that represents."

Why? They don't. This is a woman who built fucking Disney Land in her back yard and made it a point to exclude my brother and I when opening it up to the neighbourhood. I have no problem with people who believe in fairy tales, but when you try to force those beliefs on others or worse, punish them for not having the same beliefs, that deserves someone to be outspoken against it.

Some children grow up around racism. I grew up around a Catholic family that treated my family poorly for not being Christian. I know it's wrong, but I still don't like them for it. That and their "spiritual leader" saying "my kind" is "evil" really doesn't help smooth things over. And we even fund schools to teach these opinions to children!

Welcome to the Rail World
6,002 Posts
Just in time for the PC leadership to begin! :)
Toooo funnyyy. Good riddance Tory, what a farce. Not many people can say they've been total losers at all three levels of government (it was Tory that lost Campbell the election as her campaign manager).

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Howard Hampton says NDP needed more than ever

March 07, 2009
Daniel Nolan
The Hamilton Spectator

Outgoing NDP leader says his party is needed more than ever in the Ontario legislature with the economy faltering and the Liberal government unsure how to protect the massive loss of manufacturing jobs across the province.

He said the media may dismiss his party because it has only 10 seats in the legislature, but it's voice has prevented the privatization of Ontario's hydro-electrical system and kept attention focussed on funding for public schools versus expanding support for private schools.

"Ontario's electricity system would be owned by Enron if the Conservatives or Liberals had their way," Hampton told reporters this morning after the party held a tribute for him at the leadership convention at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

"It was only because of the NDP who stood up and said we're not going to do this."

Hampton, 56, who is remaining as the MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, said his party's voice will increase as the economy worsens and he predicted it will play a role in creating a minority government after the 2011 election.

"Bay Street has lots of people representing it," he said. "The only people (in the legislature) who want a world a little more fair and decent are New Democrats. Even people who don't vote for us say that's what the NDP is all about."

Hampton, who has lead the NDP since 1996, was a tad emotional on seeing his days as leader come to an end. A half a dozen people, representing friends, campaign workers, caucus members and labour supporters, praised Hampton before about 1,000 people packed in a hall at the centre. While they spoke, videos of Hampton flashed on a screen behind them.

"It's emotional, but I'm not someone who loses it emotionally," Hampton said. "I'm quite happy about this. When the new leader is selected, I will go out tonight and I'm going to have a drink. But, I'm not leaving politics. There's lots of issues to raise."

Gurpreet Kaur Sedhi, a caucus worker, first met Hampton when she came to Queen"s Park as a worker for the Ontario Unions of Indians. She told of how Premier Dalton McGuinty told the group about what they need, where as Hampton simply asked "What can I do for you tand then he listened."

She said he played Santa Claus for children in the troubled Jane-Finch corridor in Toronto, met with youths in trouble with the law and helped speak out and promote anti-racism.

"He always did what was right for the people of Ontario and he makes us proud we're New Democrats," she said.

She said, however, he was also a dedicated father, husband and family man and joked, "Why else did he invite himself to me wedding."

Howard Fraser, who works for the United Food and Commercial Workers, had known Hampton for three decades and said he would go out of his way to support workers in his union. He recalled the time Hampton travelled in a snow storm to go march with 40 striking workers at an IGA in Brancroft.

"Howard Hampton has maintained his person credibility through his time in politics," Fraser said.

Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas told of how Hampton took her under his wing and helped her when she first came to Queen's Park. "He was there for me every step of the way," she said. "His door was always open."

She joked about dealing with "spin doctors" at Queen's Park, saying that they sometimes speak in tongues. "When Hampton says it, he means it," Gelinas added.

She also joked about his links to her riding, which used to be held by Hampton's wife Shelley Martel.

"In Nickel Belt, we don't call him Mr. Hampton," she said. "We call him Mr. Martel."

Hampton told reporters the only advice he would have for the new leader is that they have to recognize the talent in the NDP caucus and use it. "Peter Kormos (Welland MPP) was said to be impossible to work with," he added. "Well, he's the house leader now and he does a hell of a job."

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks like my MPP could be the next NDP leader.....

Horwath leads first ballot in NDP leadership race

March 07, 2009
Daniel Nolan
The Hamilton Spectator

Andrea Horwath has scored heavily on the first ballot of the Ontario NDP leadership convention.

The Hamilton Centre MPP received 4,625 votes, or 37.1 per cent of the total cast.

The first ballot was announced just before 5 p.m. this afternoon.

Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns, who was believed to the frontrunner, received 3,437 votes, or 27.6 per cent of the total.

Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson received 2,954 votes, or 23.7 per cent.

Beaches-East York MPP Michael Prue received 1,438 votes, or 11. 5 per cent.

Prue dropped off the voting for the second ballot and went to support Bisson. The second ballot should be announced at about 6:30 p.m.

3,702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Second ballot........

Andrea Horwath - 43.6% and got Gilles Bisson and Michael Prue support for the third ballot.
Peter Tabuns - 31.7%
Gilles Bisson - 24.8%

Andrea Horwath pretty much won the NDP leadership
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