Ontario Liberals 'will stop at nothing' to rebuild party, interim leader says
TORONTO — Ontario Liberal leader John Fraser told a crowd of supporters the party "will stop at nothing" to get back on their feet.
"We will overcome every obstacle," he told a crowd of Liberal supporters in Toronto Sunday morning. "And we will use every resource at our disposal – no matter how small it may seem."
The gathering at Toronto's Chestnut Conference Centre was the first time all card-carrying members came together since Ontario's provincial election in June. The shocking results saw the Liberals decimated from the previous majority government under Kathleen Wynne.
The party went from holding 58 seats in the Legislature to just seven - one fewer than what the party needed to hold on to official status at Queen's Park.
In a stunning move, Wynne conceded the election a few days prior to the vote and stepped down as leader.
The Ottawa South MPP attributes part of the Liberal's loss to their long history governing Queen's Park. The Ontario Liberals were going into the 2018 election with a 15-year track record in government, Fraser said in his speech.
But throughout this time period, Fraser said the party "lost (its) way".
"We lost because we forgot who first elected us and what they sent us to do," he continued. "They sent us a clear and unmistakeable message."
The Liberals have suffered a debilitating loss like this before. In 1990, the Ontario Liberals lost 59 of their 95 seats at Queens Park. Liberal leader David Peterson also lost the election in his riding and was not re-elected to the Legislature.
Fraser said the party will be rebuilt by the work of the Ontario Young Liberals - and by appealing to young voters who are not yet eligible to vote.