Michael Coteau releases “A New Focus on Responsive and Ethical Government”

Liberal leadership candidate unveils first of four major policy papers 

TORONTO—Third-term MPP and Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Michael Coteau today unveiled his first of four major policy papers, presenting "A New Focus on Responsive and Ethical Government” (available here: http://www.anewfocuson.com/).

Among a broad-ranging series of some twenty goals and commitments, Coteau pledged to:

  • Lower the voting age to 16;

  • Introduce tough new transparency laws around lobbying;

  • Provide stronger oversight of Caucus Service Bureaus and greater support for MPPs to serve the people who elect them; 

  • Improve procurement to open the process up to small businesses; 

  • Make government more responsive to the people it serves, including through regular town halls, annual meetings with opposition caucuses, improvements to the committee process, and a return to a more transparent approach to government; and 

  • Implement measures that show true respect for taxpayers, including optimizing government assets without privatization, rationalization of the procurement process and a New Deal for Municipalities, including Charter Cities.

“We as Liberals must change our party to make it more representative, inclusive, responsive and responsible, and explain why our change is meaningful and impactful to voters. It is a recipe for continued failure and irrelevance to pick up where we left off in 2018, recycle the same tired approaches, and expect a different result. Liberals must have the courage and conviction to change for the better,” Coteau argued.  

“I believe Ontarians’ trust can be restored in our government, as it can be in our party. I believe we can be more decent, more respectful of one another and that we can more effectively serve the public if we run a better government,” Coteau argued. “As Premier, these broad-ranging accountability, ethics and governance measures will be my immediate and enduring priority to ensure we have a modern, ethical and transparent government. With this new focus on better government, we will be able to deliver on the core priorities of protecting the environment, benefiting from the opportunities in the New Economy, and ensuring we provide the best education and health-care services.”

In the leadership race, Coteau has the most donors and the second-most funds raised of any candidate, with more than three-quarters coming from donations of $100 or less, something he calls a “change in the way Ontario Liberals approach fundraising, a focus on bringing new people in who are prepared to give as they are able to fund something they believe reflects their values.”  

His campaign is gaining momentum with nearly 700 volunteers and a rapidly-rising tide of high-profile endorsements from former MPPs, current MPs and municipal and community leaders all across the province. 

Michael Coteau immigrated to Canada as a child and grew up in Flemingdon Park, a working-class neighbourhood in North York. The first member of his family to graduate high school and university, he started his own small business, worked as a community organizer and head of a national nonprofit. He was elected to the Toronto District School Board three times and served as vice-chair of the board, championing digital tools in the classroom, equity strategies and community use of schools. Coteau was elected three times as Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley East, and served in multiple ministries where he was tasked with bringing people together to fix tough files, including supports for children with autism, reforming services for children in care, delivering a successful Pan-Am Games, supporting film and cultural economic development, and implementing an anti-racism strategy. He and his wife, Lori, are raising two young daughters.

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