|Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns has been named the interim leader of the Ontario NDP.
The official announcement was made on the night of Tuesday, June 28.
He was elected on Tuesday by the NDP’s provincial council to the position.
Tabuns, who has been the NDP MPP for Toronto-Danforth since 2006, will serve as party leader on an interim basis until the Ontario NDP selects a new leader in the future.
The leadership of the provincial NDP became vacant after leader Andrea Horwath stepped down on Ontario election night on June 3.
Though the NDP once again won enough seats in the provincial election this year to form the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park, the party saw a drop in the number of seats in had from the 2018 election. Ontario Liberal Party leader Steven Del Duca also stepped down as leader of his part on election night June 3.
Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative party formed their second straight majority government in this month’s Ontario election, winning even more seats than they did in 2018.
In a press release, Tabuns said he is “humbled” to be selected as the Ontario NDP’s interim leader.
“The Ontario NDP Caucus is energized and committed to holding the Ford government to account,” he said.
“It’s a difficult time for workers whose wages are falling behind. For patients waiting far too long for care. For our parents in long-term care and the kids who need more help to get back on track in school. And for everyone worried about the climate crisis. We’re on their side. We’re going to fight to rebuild health care and long-term care for them. We’re going to fight for education for them. We’re going to fight to lift wages.”
In the press release, Ontario NDP president Janelle Brady said the party is in a strong position and looking to the future.
“We are a diverse, multi-generational, modern social democratic party with supporters and volunteers in every region of this province. We’re financially sound and more energized than ever before,” said Brady.
“I want to thank Andrea Horwath for her leadership, and for guiding our party to a stronger place than we’ve ever been. And I want to congratulate Peter Tabuns on his election as interim leader. The choice of a new leader and the direction of our party belongs to the tens of thousands of NDP members in Ontario — and I can confidently say the party is in good hands.”
The NDP’s provincial council is empowered to select an interim leader, taking into account a recommendation from the provincial executive, said the NDP press release. The provincial executive must and did consult with the NDP caucus as well as NDP committees in that process.
Tabun is a veteran politician who represented East Toronto first as a city councillor from 1990 to 1997, and then as MPP for Toronto-Danforth since 2006.
From 1999 to 2004, Tabuns was executive director of Greenpeace Canada, where he was a leader in the push for Canada to adopt the Kyoto Protocol. Tabuns also served as special advisor on climate change to federal NDP Leader Jack Layton from 2004 to 2005.
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns celebrates his re-election in the Toronto-Danforth riding on the night of the Ontario election on June 3. Photo by Alexandros Varoutas.