2023 Executive Council Elections

The Ontario Liberal Party will elect a new Executive Council at the upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting. To date, the following candidates have put their names forward.


President

Executive Vice-President

Secretary

  • Pankaj Sandhu

Treasurer

  • Eric Renaud
  • Tim Shortill

Vice-President (Policy)

Vice-President (Organization)

Vice-President (Communications)

  • Jeff Jedras
  • Peter Walker

Vice-President (Engagement)

  • Li Koo

Regional Vice-Presidents

Central North
Central West
  • Piraveenth Srekanthen
  • Karen Gill
North
  • Kristen Oliver
South Central
  • Doug Varley
Southwest
  • Brendan Knight
Toronto (Etobicoke/Downtown/East York)
Toronto (York/North York/Scarborough)

for President

Natalie Hart

Natalie Hart grew up in campaign offices and whenever there’s a Liberal on the ballot, you’ll find her there.

In her most recent role as the OLP’s regional vice-president for Central West, she quickly became known for her hard work, long hours, and accessibility. A committed teambuilder, she worked tirelessly as a volunteer to revive inactive riding associations, recruit a diverse slate of compelling candidates, oversee nominations and policy forums, and help each candidate and riding build their teams and be ready to fight the last election – and knocked on doors across the region.

In her work life she’s the general manager of the Malton Business Improvement Association, reporting to a diverse not-for-profit board and working with the business community and all three levels of government to promote business and tourism in the Malton area. She is currently leading a $3 million-project to bring a replica Avro Arrow to Malton, highlighting an important part of Canada’s aviation history.

Natalie grew up in Mississauga, and before returning there about a decade ago she built a career in the financial services sector in rural communities across Ontario, where she worked with small business owners to understand the challenges they face and ensure they had access to the resources they needed to create jobs and give back to their communities.

When she’s not knocking doors or pulling vote, she remains involved with numerous other community projects such as the Santa Claus Parade, India Republic Day, Canada Day and led the organization of pop-up vaccine clinics in places of worship at the height of the pandemic. In her decades of team-building, Natalie has learned one key lesson: be thankful and keep it fun. Learn more about Natalie’s campaign or get in touch with her at votehart.ca

Kathryn McGarry

Kathryn McGarry built a 35-year career as a Registered Nurse at several hospitals including SickKids, and Cambridge Memorial, and as a Care Coordinator in Home and Community Care. Together with her husband Fred, she joined a group of committed citizens to make the case for enhanced end of life care services that led to the founding of the Hospice of Waterloo Region.

Her experiences as a nurse during the assault on publicly funded healthcare by the Mike Harris Conservatives in the 1990s directly led to her involvement in politics. She became involved in her local Provincial Liberal Association and served the party as a local riding volunteer, a candidate, an Executive Council Regional Vice-President, an MPP, and as a Cabinet Minister.
During her time on the Ontario Liberal Party Executive Council, she helped oversee the 2012-13 leadership election and, as Southwest Regional Vice-President, played an instrumental role in rebuilding the party in the region, helping to secure a majority government.

After two close races, she was elected in 2014 as the MPP for Cambridge, a riding we had not held in 71 years. Kathryn was appointed as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation shortly thereafter. Next, she was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and later served as Ontario’s Minister of Transportation. Most recently, she served as the elected Mayor of Cambridge, Ontario.

Kathryn received the Cambridge YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2009, and the Bernice Adam’s Special Trustee Award in 2011. Her husband Fred works in Waterloo as a software developer. They have been married for over 30 years and remain deeply rooted in Cambridge. Together they have six children – Rory, Jenny, Alex, Liam, Declan, and the late Geordie, as well as four grandchildren.

Visit www.votemcgarry.ca to join Kathryn’s campaign and learn more about her plan to lay a solid foundation for victory in 2026.

for Executive Vice-President

Damien O’Brien

Ontario Liberals are down but we’re not out. We do have an enormous task before us: to work together to pick ourselves up and re-commit ourselves to serving Ontarians.

I am a life-long volunteer, this is the kind of work that inspires me, and it’s why I’m running for Executive Vice-President of the Ontario Liberal Party.

The very future of our movement hangs in the balance, but by working together we can overcome the challenges we face. As Executive Vice-President I will:

  • Remain neutral in the next Leadership election, supporting a fair, transparent, accountable leadership race for all members and support a weighted one member, one vote leadership election process.
  • Introduce regular Executive Council accountability sessions for party members at AGMs and Provincial Council meetings.
  • Remove barriers to engagement by including more digital and virtual components to our events.
  • Work to keep our events affordable and accessible – especially for Young Liberals – and provide more financial & logistics support to PLAs & Commissions in local organizing & events.
  • Support an effective field program to recruit volunteers and support local riding associations.

Nothing is permanent. The Ontario PC Party has shown us this by putting our health care and education systems into crisis, ripping up the Greenbelt, and placing our future in jeopardy. Just as true though is that Ontario Liberals will not be where we are forever if we accept what has gone wrong, embrace change, and remain focused on the people of Ontario.

The road ahead will be difficult, and the work will challenge us, but I’m so encouraged by the conversations I’ve had and am looking forward to many more.

Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Email: votedamienobrien@gmail.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damienobr/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DamienOBrienOLP
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Damien_obr

for Vice-President (Policy)

Fahim Khan

Fahim Khan has served the Ontario Liberal Party in various capacities starting off with grassroots involvement. He worked tirelessly in the past to help many local Provincial Liberal Associations and candidates across the province. He understands the need for an inclusive approach towards developing policies and platforms. He values empowering our PLAs, paying close attention to the concerns and ideas that our grassroot members and stakeholders share, and most importantly maintaining regular communication with them to make them feel respected, valued and engaged. Fahim considers the diversity of our province to be our strength and is devoted to reflecting that in our approach to policy development. Being a representative of a new generation of OLP members, he is determined to engaging the youth by offering them opportunities to be an integral part of shaping the future of OLP. If elected, as the Vice-President of Policy, he is committed to working collaboratively with the rest of the Executive Council members, PLA leaders, candidates, volunteers to build a stronger OLP so that we can successfully take on Doug Ford and the PCs in 2026.

for Vice-President (Organization)

David Farrow

David is running to be the next OLP Vice President-Organization. David spent his career dedicated to serving others. After graduating on the Dean’s List at Mount Allison University with two bachelor’s degrees, he embarked on his path as an educator, becoming a Principal with the Rainbow District School Board, a position he held from 2000 to 2017. He earned high honors for his commitment to excellence in education, including the Outstanding Contribution to the Co-Curricular Program from the Rainbow District School Board and the Council of Exceptional Children (Chapter 503) Appreciation Award.

David is dedicated to Community Service with the goal of improving citizens quality of life. David served 8 years on the Board of Maison McCulloch Hospice, (Chair–3 Years). He worked with the CIBC Run for the Cure, Sudbury Food Bank, Canadian Breast Cancer Society, Larch Street Kids, and was “Co-founder” of the Rainbow Catholic Co-Ed Basketball Tournament, which he ran for 14 years. His charitable efforts earned him Provincial recognition from the CIBC Run for the Cure, for which his team raised over $500,000 for cancer research, the Celebration 2010 Community Sport Volunteer Award and Ontario Volunteer Service Award.

David has a Masters of Business Administration. He is the co-owner of FarExGeoMine Ltd., (CFO), and has served as chair of the finance committee for Maison McCulloch Hospice. On October 21st, 2022, David was acclaimed trustee for the Rainbow District School Board.

If elected OLP VP – Organization, David will bring a strong work ethic, a relentless focus on the 2026 election, a commitment to operationalized a grass roots rebuilt of Provincial Riding Associations, a strong voice regarding regional disparities within the OLP and raising the funds necessary to run a winning 2026 Provincial Campaign.

for Regional Vice-Presidents

Central North

Jesse Plaschka

Hello my name is Jesse Plaschka and I am running for Regional VP Central North because I know I can be the voice for semi-rural issues of our region while respecting or Surburban and Urban cousins. I am a graduate of the University of Ottawa, member of the Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserve and currently union electrician in the GTA. Born and raised in Barrie, I was heavily involved during the last election in Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte as part of Jeff Lehman’s Campaign. As well, I currently serve as area coordinator overseeing the Vaughan region.

I have 3 main focuses to better Central North Region:

  • Listen – Listen to the concerns of the Central North Region and advocate for them to the OLP Executive council.
  • Connect – Connect ridings to each other in the region to foster resiliency, as well as ensuring clear communication between the riding and the party.
  • Entrench – Entrench ridings into community fabric through focus on events and community outreach.

I can be reached via my email jesseplaschka97@hotmail.com. Please email to request a call back.

I look forward to hearing from you, and believe together we can help Liberalism flourish in the Central North region, thank you.

Toronto (Etobicoke/Downtown/East York)

David Morris

After two elections as the candidate in Toronto Centre, I understand the important role our PLA’s play in setting up candidates for success. And what I took from both campaigns is that the single most important asset to any PLA or any campaign is its volunteers.

Volunteering has always been a key part of my life, from serving meals in Regent Park to being the Chair of The 519, Canada’s largest LGBTQ+ community centre.

And I have met so many friends along the way, friends who are now also volunteers, PLA executive members and past candidates in the Ontario Liberal Party today. This is because I am able to include people with shared values and build up a team.

I want to continue to build this family of volunteers across our region and work with PLA executives to engage a new generation of Liberals. I already have experience across the ridings of the Downtown-Etobicoke-East York region. After our devastating loss in 2018, I worked as an Area Coordinator for the region under Vice-President, Li Koo, and helped organize some of the first OLP regional events after the election as part of our efforts to rebuild.

As a former civil servant, I’ve seen first hand how Ontario Liberals can create positive change and I am ready to work hard to rebuild our party so we can bring an end to this destructive conservative government.

Outside of the party, I remain an active volunteer in my community, a competitive volleyball player and live in the Church‐Wellesley neighbourhood of Toronto with my partner Andrew and our dog Hudson. I am fully bilingual and studied at Glendon College – York University’s bilingual campus.

Feel free to connect with me on Facebook or through my campaign page: https://www.facebook.com/David4TorontoCentre

Toronto (York/North York/Scarborough)

Lawrence Dawkins

Re-elect Lawrence Dawkins as your Ontario Liberal Party Regional Vice President (York/North York/Scarborough). Lawrence a former Riding Association President for 2 Cabinet Ministers, former OLP Area Coordinator-Toronto Region and a former President of the Black and Caribbean Liberal Association, has the experience and skills needed to work collaboratively to build a stronger Party.

Lawrence Dawkins a former Correctional Officer has been a passionate community organizer for several years. Since the 1980’s and in various capacities, he has worked with some of Ontario most troubled and marginalized young people. Lawrence has created and given oversight to youth pilot projects in the Scarborough communities. Lawrence is currently a support educator with the Toronto District School Board. He was also a former Community Development Officer with Canada’s largest landlord Metro Toronto Housing Authority, now Toronto Community Housing. Lawrence is committed and passionate about the improvement of society’s vulnerable. Lawrence has written articles for various community magazines and newspapers. Lawrence has also been a guest speaker and organizer of various community and political forum within the City of Toronto. Lawrence is a Board Member of Operation Black Vote Canada.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Member of the Board of Directors John Howard Society Toronto (2021-Present)
  • Former Chair, Community Advisory Board- Toronto East Detention Centre (March 2017)
  • Member of the Board of Director New Beginnings Support Program(April 2017)
  • Member of the Board of Directors Single Mothers in Progress (2012-2019)
  • Member of the Scarborough East Storefront Board of Directors and steering Committee (2009-2012)
  • Member of the Committee on Race and Ethno cultural Equity of Markham (1992-1994)
  • Member of Children and Family Services of York Region (A body that operates & manages the Children’s Aid Society of York Region Personnel & Public Relations Committee)(1992-1994)