Mayor Meed Wards' political future

By Pepper Parr

January 23, 2023



The provincial Liberals will be meeting in Hamilton March for their Annual General Meeting during which time they will set out the rules and the timetable for choosing the next Liberal Party leader that they will go into the 2026 Ontario election.

The political pundits have already settled on four potential candidates and have made mention of a candidate many would like to see drafted.

There are four likely candidates who are actively courting Liberals across the province.


MPPs Mitzie Hunter, 51, (Scarborough-Guildwood) and Ted Hsu, 58, (Kingston and the Islands) as well as MPs Yasir Naqvi, 49, (Ottawa Centre) and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, 38, (Beaches-East York) are exploring leadership bids.

Ontario Big City Mayors posing for a class picture. Mississauga Mayor and Burlington Mayor Meed Ward are in the front row centre

Others are rumoured to be interested — there’s a quiet movement to draft Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a former Liberal MP — but only these four are aggressively pushing their candidacies.

It’s shaping up as a diverse, well-educated and experienced field.  Burlington’s Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward has not been mentioned.

Every politician has a vision for the people they represent and a plan for their own political future.  At one point it looked as if Meed Ward had set her sights on being Premier of the province.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward greets Premier Doug Ford at the Joseph Brant Hospital

The budget that City Council settles on in February will not get her re-elected nor will the one she is likely to have to produce for 2024.  Not a problem – she doesn’t have to file nomination papers until 2026 and by that time she will have cut ribbons to open both the new Skyway Area and whatever the Bateman high school is going to be named.

She might have even found a way to have the LaSalle Park land that Hamilton owns brought back into the Burlington border.

At this point Meed Ward doesn’t look like a provincial leadership candidate.  She doesn’t have a seat in the Legislature but then neither does Bonnie Crombie, who once did have a seat at Queen’s Park.

Gary Carr as a goal tender before he became a politician.

In 2026 Doug Ford will look beatable – he looks beatable now.  The unions cut him down a peg or two when they got significant increase for 55,000 educational workers.  And, given what we have seen so far the Premier may be in way over his head on the land transfers that were made pulling wetlands into land that could be used to build the thousands of home we are going to need to accommodate big increases in immigration.

Mayor Meed Ward might have a shot at becoming the Regional Chair, assuming Gary Carr decides he is finally going to take his skates off.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 comments to Mayor Meed Wards’ political future

  • Stephen White

    Hunter and Hsu have zero profile. By contrast, Naqvi and Erskine-Smith are both viable candidates. Naqvi has both federal and provincial experience, and served in Cabinet. Erskine-Smith has a backbone and an independent streak, quite unlike the rest of the puerile sheep in the federal Liberal caucus. A third potential candidate could be Dr. Adil Shamji who is the provincial Liberal Health critic and MPP for Don Valley East. Shamji may be comparatively inexperienced, but has proven himself knowledgeable on health issues and speaks well.

    The Liberals need to get on with their leadership contest and stop dragging this out. If they intend to make a run for it and seriously challenge Ford and his real estate developers/paving contractors pals in 2026 then they need to start building grass-roots support now by presenting themselves as a worthwhile centrist option.

  • Oscar

    What are her and council doing to get the city ready to help Toronto host the world cup in 2026? Lots of fans, media and teams will be travelling to compete in matches held at BMO. Why not capitalize on the future and start planning for our city to help with the biggest event this part of the Province will be a part of since PANAM 2015…

  • Wayne Brown

    A third term for Marianne does not help her in any way. She has already proven that she can win and re-win. I don’t see her as the Region Chair. Can she “skate” around a question as Gary does?
    However, something to consider is that the two upcoming tax increases come in off election years. So perhaps the door is open for a newcomer to successfully run next time…..not necessarily a Councilor who has been involved in the tax issues.

  • Keith Demoe

    I’d be for her putting hat into the mix of Liberal leaders…if she won, she would be no longer a Mayor for Burlington. Having said that, Ward would not be a good Premier, she doesn’t have long term vision and would be only harmful to province.

Leave a Reply