Ontario New Democrats gather in Hamilton, Horwath to outline party priorities

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HAMILTON — Ontario’s New Democrats are gathering this weekend to discuss party priorities and hold a vote of confidence on their leader of ten years.

The meeting in Hamilton, the party’s first since becoming the official Opposition last year, will see NDP Leader Andrea Horwath deliver a speech on a vision for the future.

Delegates will also vote on whether or not to hold a formal review of Horwath’s leadership, a poll that takes place at every party policy convention.

Horwath, who led the party last year to its largest seat count since the 1990s, is expected to easily survive the vote.

She says the gathering will give members a chance to debate policy that will influence what the NDP offers to Ontarians in the next provincial election.

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is also expected to make an announcement at the convention on Sunday.

The party says more than 1,500 delegates are expected at the gathering.

Horwath, who has been at the party helm since 2009, recently said she has no concerns about this weekend’s leadership review vote.

“I’m excited about the future,” said the 56-year-old. “We’re very motivated. We’re very excited about our fantastic caucus and I’m excited about the convention.”

Horwath has seen three elections as party leader and has given no indication she plans to step down before the next vote in 2022.