MPP setting a new course for Liberals and gaining momentum in the leadership race
NORTH YORK—Ontario Liberal MPP and leadership candidate Michael Coteau showed how he leads in the Legislature and on the campaign trail in 2019.
“This has been a busy year, full of change and opportunity,” said Coteau. “From my work in the Legislature championing issues like funding for children with autism, Right-to-Repair consumer protection, passing a motion to condemn Bill 21 to stand up for religious liberty—to the leadership campaign, where we’ve pushed progressive policies and worked to build a new, modern Party—we’ve shown how we would change this party and province for the better.”
In 2019, Michael Coteau made national headlines championing issues like:
Passed A Motion Affirming Religious Liberty in Response to Quebec Bill 21
Coteau’s motion affirming religious liberty passed unanimously with support from all parties in the Legislature. As Coteau said at the time, ”I am pleased that all parties could come together to affirm that Ontario is a place that values diversity and stands united in support of our rights and freedoms.”
Introduced Canada’s First Legislation on Right-to-Repair Consumer Protection
Coteau proposed a Private Member’s Bill on Right to Repair, allowing consumers of electronic products, including farm equipment, the ability to make repairs other than through the manufacturer, which would reduce waste and increase consumer choice. As John Michael McGrath said at TVO, “This is, after all, what being ‘for the little guy’ looks like.”
Proposed Fare-Free Transit as Part of a Major Climate Action Plan
As part of a wide-ranging policy paper on fighting climate change (https://www.anewfocuson.com/a_green_ontario), Coteau started a national conversation about moving towards a fare-free transit model. As The Toronto Star’s Matt Elliott wrote, “It’s worth considering.” CTV’s Evan Solomon also said, “I’m with Michael in the sense I wish politicians actually put out ideas to have a real debate…I don’t mind kicking the quote tires on it…for being bold, for being aspirational. Doesn’t mean I agree with it but I like the fact he has the cojones, the potatoes, the stones to put something out there that’s not the same old re-heated stuff I’ve heard a thousand times. In my mind, merits a discussion.”
Fought for Children and Parents with Autism
Building on his work as the former minister of social services, Coteau has helped lead the fight back against Premier Ford’s failed changes to the Ontario Autism Program. As past president of the Ontario Autism Coalition Bruce McIntosh stated, “Michael Coteau listened to us, worked with us and developed a program together with us. I am calling on our autism community to get behind Michael Coteau, to sign up to join the party to vote to make him leader—to change politics from inside the process.”
Proposed Broad-Ranging Reform of Queen’s Park and Lowering the Voting Age
As part of a thorough policy paper on reforming Queen’s Park (https://www.anewfocuson.com/ethics), Coteau added his voice to a national conversation about lowering the voting age to 16 to empower and educate the next generation.
Proposed a Thorough, Integrated Economic Plan
As part of a thorough economic plan (https://www.anewfocuson.com/economy), Coteau proposed a thoughtful approach to leverage the New Economy with fairness and affordability measures to ensure a prosperous province with broadly shared opportunity.
Running a Strong Second in the Ontario Liberal Leadership Campaign
Coteau’s campaign has recruited the most individual donors of any leadership candidate, raised the second most funds of any candidate and signed up over 8500 new party members. As the Ontario Loud podcasts hosts said it is “A very impressive showing…Michael exceeded expectations as clearly the second place, not by a little bit…the question on everyone’s mind is ‘can Steven win on the first ballot’ because if he can’t, the dynamics are many of the other camps will try to line up behind second place, so it certainly seems a doable path for [Coteau] to do so. So, if I was Michael’s camp, I’d be feeling pretty good.” As former Ontario Liberal Party campaign director Pat Sorbara said, “Coteau’s obviously with his numbers very much in the game...the thing about a delegated convention is lots happens on the floor”.
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