View Full Version : Hamilton MPP 'would be excellent leader' of NDP

Jun 14, 2008, 4:17 PM
First off Howard Hampton is stepping down as NDP leader....

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.

the dude
Jun 15, 2008, 1:00 PM
i'm not sure what the future holds for the provincial ndp. all of a sudden the liberals seem to care about cities and public transit. the greens sorta care about the environment. all that's left is the poor and that sure as hell won't get them elected. that said, good luck to andrea. she's great for hamilton centre and i'm sure she'd be a fine leader.

Jun 16, 2008, 1:00 AM
NDP has no shot with the Liberals starting to get involved in Canadian cities.

Jun 18, 2008, 11:11 AM
Horwath is getting her ducks in a row

June 18, 2008
Andrew Dreschel
The Hamilton Spectator

Any notion MPP Andrea Horwath is just posturing when she says she's considering running to replace Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton evaporates the moment you talk to her.

It's clear Horwath is already drilling down to determine how much support she has for throwing her hat in the ring.

"I really want to make sure that I have everything I need to win," Horwath said yesterday. "I'm not jumping in this as a whim."

The rep for Hamilton Centre is keenly aware that whomever her party elects when Hampton steps down next March will be the face of the New Democrats for many years to come.

She sees the moment as fraught with both opportunity and responsibility.

"The NDP have never had a woman leader, so it's a kind of a historic opportunity, but it's not an opportunity I take lightly and I need to make sure that I have my ducks in a row."

Those ducks include evaluating how much money she'll need for a protracted leadership campaign and sounding out support from her party, her riding, the labour and environmental movements, and a range of coalitions across the province.

"There are many, many different people I need to be touching bases with and I'm doing that work now."

Horwath, first elected in the 2004 byelection held to replace the late Dominic Agostino, is one of 10 members in the NDP caucus. Other MPPs mentioned as potential leadership candidates are Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth) and Michael Prue (Beaches-East York).

But Horwath may be unique in the sense she's getting ringing endorsements from Tories and Liberals, as well as New Democrats.

Conservative MPP Tim Hudak (Niagara West-Glanbrook) says Horwath has been an impressive addition to Queen's Park and he hopes she enters the race.

"In 2004, she hit the ground running and quickly rose to one of the NDP's top performers in the legislature," says Hudak, who praises her intelligence and skill at championing causes in the legislature.

"I don't always agree with what she says, but what she says is a coherent NDP vision for the province."

Former Hamilton Mountain MPP and Liberal cabinet minister Marie Bountrogianni also hopes Horwath takes the plunge.

"It would be nice to have a good female leader in the legislature," Bountrogianni says. "I think she's passionate, energetic and sensitive."

Amid this love-in, it's easy to forget the reviews weren't always so kind when Horwath was a city councillor.

Horwath represented Ward 2, which includes the downtown core, from 1997 to mid-2004. During that time, as council's principal left-wing voice, she deservedly earned a reputation for hard work and defending her turf like a mama bear protecting a cub.

But like any politician, she wasn't above occasionally stretching truths and bending facts to make her case. She overspent her office budget at least twice. And she fell victim to that classic second-term bravado that sometimes manifests itself as imperiousness.

Horwath also played a lead role in contributing to the crisis of trust between senior staff and council in the early post-amalgamation years, often leading the relentless attacks against the management team that had been selected by the transition board.

Councillor Sam Merulla, a close council ally of Horwath's and an NDPer, notes she both grew with the MPP job and changed with experience.

Merulla says her earlier overaggressiveness, which he puts down to earning her stripes, has given way to a calm and confident assertiveness.

"I think she would make an incredible leader and -- one day --premier," Merulla says.

Regardless of which way Horwath jumps, she's hasn't given herself a deadline for making a decision.

At least not one for public consumption.

Jun 19, 2008, 2:26 PM
I've never been a fan of Horvath. She's a typical career politician, she picks safe issues -- when she does -- to champion. Otherwise she never really says anything. It's typical politician speak, "it's likely very possible that we will try our hardest to (fill in the blank)"

Jun 19, 2008, 7:20 PM
politicians suck.

Jun 19, 2008, 9:01 PM
Never believe a politician when their lips are moving.

Jun 20, 2008, 11:36 AM
Hamilton NDP MPP mulls over leadership bid

By Kevin Werner

Jun 20, 2008

Hamilton Centre NDP MPP Andrea Horwath is "very, very serious" about running to become her party's next leader.

"I'm in the process of talking to people," said Mrs. Horwath. "This is an important decision that can't be taken lightly."

The former Hamilton councillor for Ward 2 said she will take her time "over the next little while" mulling over her future. There is no time constraints, she said to make up her mind.

And since the Ontario Legislature is expected to rise for its summer break, it will provide the veteran politician with more time to talk to supporters about a potential leadership bid, she said.

Ms. Horwath, 44, won the former Hamilton East riding in 2004 garnering 63 per cent of the vote in a by-election to replace former Liberal MPP Dominic Agostino who died. After the ridings were changed, Ms. Horwath easily won Hamilton Centre in last fall's election.

Ms. Horwath greets the idea of a leadership race as an opportunity to "re-invigorate" the party, after its disappointing showing in last fall's provincial election.

"The last campaign was somewhat disappointing," she said. "A leadership race reflects where it needs to go."

Speculation about the next NDP leader was sparked after Howard Hampton announced last weekend he will retire in March 2009 after 13 years as the party's standard bearer.

Mr. Hampton will remain an MPP for his Rainy River riding, and expects to run again in the 2011 election.

Besides Ms. Horwath, other potential candidates include Michael Prue, Beaches-East York, Cheri DeNovo, Parkdale-High Park, Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns.

Niagara West-Glanbrook Progressive Conservative MPP Tim Hudak said both Ms. Horwath and Welland NDP MPP Peter Kormos are contenders.

"Ms. Horwath is very impressive and should be considered a front-runner," he said.

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek NDP MPP Paul Miller refused to comment if he would support a Horwath campaign.

"I am going to sit back and wait," he said. "I am non-committal."

During last fall's election campaign Mr. Hampton lashed out at the media for ignoring the issues he was championing, including poverty, downloading provincial services to municipalities and health care. He ripped the media for focusing on multi-faith school financing that Progressive Conservative leader John Tory pushed.

The result was the NDP earned only10 seats, while increasing its popular vote to 15 per cent.

Ms. Howath said Mr. Hampton "earned our respect" by focusing on such issues as the loss of manufacturing jobs, and poverty.

It has made the party, she argued, more relevant in Ontario's political process than ever before.

"There is no doubt about who the real opposition is (in the legislature)," she said.

Both Ms. Horwath and Mr. Miller praised Mr. Hampton for his job of taking over a dispirited party after the Bob Rae years.

"He brought us back from the dark ages," said Mr. Miller. "We are better positioned."

But Mr. Miller argued the NDP must expand its traditional labour supporters to include more middle-class residents.

"We need to expand our base," he said.

Jun 20, 2008, 1:58 PM
Interesting now.... Werner's articles are straight fact reporting, no more commentary. Too bad Kevin *cough* loser.... nobody is missing your anti-Hamilton views.

Jun 20, 2008, 2:30 PM
ugh, NDP.

Jun 20, 2008, 3:30 PM
Interesting now.... Werner's articles are straight fact reporting, no more commentary. Too bad Kevin *cough* loser.... nobody is missing your anti-Hamilton views.

yea, I noticed that lately. Even his LRT piece was just straight facts. It was basically the Spec story with a few minor changes.
Fine by me...the guy stunk as an opinion writer.

Jul 18, 2008, 1:32 PM
The NDP Leadership convention will be held next March. Guess where the Leadership convention will take place?....................Hamilton.

That should help give downtown Hamilton a boost for the week plus some media coverage.

Jul 18, 2008, 3:20 PM
Interesting now.... Werner's articles are straight fact reporting, no more commentary. Too bad Kevin *cough* loser.... nobody is missing your anti-Hamilton views.

For a very brief time, Kevin Werner's commentary (now unsullied by editorial oversight) was available on Chris Ecklund's website:


Sadly, the column has been removed and is no longer linked from Ecklund's main page. It's too bad, because Werner was on a real tear.

In his bluntly written inaugural piece a couple of weeks ago, Werner lambasted Mayor Fred Eisenberger in a withering assessment that accused the Mayor and his staff of "a gosh and geez wiz [sic] sort of everyman way", "naiveté", "incompetency", "political stupidity", "stumbling administration", "arrogan[ce]", and the "cavalier way he uses and abuses his 'morality' position."

The column's centrepiece was the revelation that Eisenberger apparently leaked confidential information in a May 2007 conversation with Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel.

Yet Werner lobbed everything he could get his hands on in the mayor's direction: the Lister deal, which looked doomed when the piece was written; the corruption charges against Gord Moodie, manager of the city's residential loan program (an internal audit has since cleared him); the controversy over Councillor Bernie Morelli's comments to a staffer; and Councillor Dave Mitchell's conflict of interest over a land severance request.

For the better part of a year politicians have been rolling their eyes, and thumbing their noses at Mr. Eisenberger and his staff for their Keystone Cops managerial and political abilities.

Mr. Eisenberger will have to endure the public humiliation, and political castration that comes to politicians who lie to cover up their inadequacies.

Classic stuff. It's almost a pity that Ecklund apparently had second thoughts about giving Werner free space to air his, er, spirited views.

Jul 18, 2008, 4:48 PM
Being reported on today's Thespec.com:

Toronto MPP seeks NDP leadership

July 18, 2008
The Canadian Press

Toronto New Democrat Michael Prue is the first to officially throw his hat into the race for leadership of Ontario's NDP.

Prue, who celebrated his 60th birthday Monday, was a councillor and mayor of the former Toronto borough of East York until it was swallowed up by amalgamation in 1997.

He was first elected to the Ontario legislature from Toronto's Beaches-East York riding in a 2001 byelection and serves as the NDP critic for finance and community and social services.

Prue launched his campaign by visiting his birthplace: Regent Park, Toronto's oldest public housing project and the site of an extensive redevelopment.

NDP veteran Gilles Bisson has also said he plans to join the race to replace the retiring Howard Hampton.

Others expected to make a run for the NDP's top job include Toronto member Peter Tabuns and Hamilton's Andrea Horwath.

Jul 18, 2008, 4:50 PM
Looks like Andrea will get Alexa McDonough's support.

Oct 29, 2008, 11:13 AM
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.

Oct 29, 2008, 1:14 PM
Gilles Bisson, MPP for my former stomping grounds. He's well respected in the community, always a strong voice for the North, plenty of experience. He would be a good leader for the provincial NDP.

Nov 7, 2008, 3:15 AM
Horwath to launch NDP leadership bid Friday

November 06, 2008
Spectator Staff

Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath will officially launch her bid for leadership of the Ontario NDP Friday morning.

Horwath will make the announcement at 11:30 a.m. at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre at 51 Stuart St. The public is welcome.

Howard Hampton has led the party since 1996 and will officially step down and be replaced at a leadership convention in Hamilton March 7-8.

Horwath is running against MPP Peter Tabuns of Toronto-Danforth, MPP Gilles Bisson of Timmins-James Bay and Michael Prue of Beaches-East York in Toronto.

To spread the word about her announcement, Horwath has uploaded a video on the YouTube website.

The short clip features three people describing what they look for in a leader.

Other videos posted a week ago feature various Hamiltonians, including rocker Tom Wilson, talking about Horwath in relation to specific issues.

Feb 6, 2009, 5:57 PM
Kormos endorses Horwath for NDP leadership

QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 6 /CNW/ - Today, New Democrat Peter Kormos declared his support for Andrea Horwath in her bid for the leadership of the Ontario New Democratic Party.

"Andrea Horwath is experienced, smart, and hardworking. Ms. Horwath is committed to building NDP support across the province," Kormos stated.

"She has good political instincts. People like her and trust her. Andrea is the leader we need to take the NDP into the next decade."

Kormos was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1988 and is currently the NDP justice critic, labour critic and House Leader.

The NDP leadership convention will take place in Hamilton during the weekend of March 6, 2009.

Feb 23, 2009, 2:42 AM
Toronto Star endorses Andrea Horwath today....

"Of the four, Horwath would be our choice. While during the campaign she has stuck rigidly to past NDP platform positions, she represents change in other ways – generation (at 45, she is the youngest of the four candidates), geography (she is from Hamilton) and gender (the provincial NDP has never had a woman leader). And there is hope she would grow in office."


Mar 3, 2009, 2:53 PM
CUPE Ont. president backs Horwath in NDP race
The Canadian Press

TORONTO — One of Ontario's top labour leaders says he will back Hamilton New Democrat Andrea Horwath in the party's upcoming leadership contest.

CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan says Horwath will be the leader `the Ontario NDP needs going into the next provincial election.'

Ryan says he's impressed with Horwath's knowledge and understanding and the `hope she represents for working people.'

CUPE is the largest union in Ontario with more than 200,000 members.

Horwath is one of four candidates in the running to replace Howard Hampton as party leader, a post he had held since 1996.

Horwath's rivals at the March 6 convention in Hamilton include Peter Tabuns, Michael Prue and party veteran Gilles Bisson.

Mar 3, 2009, 5:13 PM
If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas..

Mar 7, 2009, 10:35 PM
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.

Mar 7, 2009, 11:16 PM
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.

Mar 8, 2009, 12:30 AM
Andrea Horwath just won.

Mar 8, 2009, 1:23 AM
God help us all!

Mar 8, 2009, 2:36 AM

Mar 8, 2009, 3:15 AM
Well it isn't likely she will become premier. Although I guess people thought the same of Bobby Rae.

Mar 8, 2009, 3:56 AM
God help us all!

You mean you don't like Miss Motormouth?


Mar 8, 2009, 5:04 AM
You mean you don't like Miss Motormouth?


I need to follow Hamlilton/NDP politics allot more.:hmmm: