TORONTO — Thursday evening, the Ontario Liberal Party Executive Council appointed Brian Johns, a small-business owner from East Gwillimbury, as its new party president. With this new appointment, the Executive Council will continue to work to support Premier Kathleen Wynne and our Ontario Liberal caucus to fight for our plan for opportunity and fairness in the lead up to the June, 2018 provincial election.
“I am excited and honoured to step into this role at a time of transition for how we do politics in Ontario, and in the lead up to next spring’s general election,” said Johns, age 37. “We are working to build an open, inclusive, grassroots party that engages everyday Ontario citizens in the political process. Whether through our province-wide policy consultations, grassroots fundraising initiatives or our campaign to ask women to run for office, we are showing a commitment to creating an open party, one that will fight for the Premier's plan for opportunity and fairness.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne praised Johns, saying, “I appreciate Brian’s hard work, his enthusiasm and his commitment to modernizing our Party. Our new party president is someone who comes from the grassroots, with the experience of running campaigns in rural and suburban ridings. I’m very pleased to have Brian stepping into this role.”
Premier Wynne added, "As Liberals, we believe in working to create a society where we ensure opportunity and fairness. Government exists to make the world fairer, to make society fairer, to create more opportunities. These values are what guide us as a Party and as a team. Our commitment to fighting for our plan for opportunity and fairness will guide us as a Party as we work towards the next election," the Premier said.
"I want to thank my colleagues on the Executive Council and Premier Wynne for their confidence in me. I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure a Liberal majority government is reelected next June so that we can together work to ensure everyone has a fair shot at the opportunities Ontario has to offer," Johns said.
"Our Liberal government is implementing bold policies to ensure we leverage a growing economy to make Ontario a fairer place, including through policies such as 100,000 new child-care spaces, free tuition for over 210,000 students, free prescription drug coverage for children and youth with OHIP+, an increased minimum wage, and countless other bold policies. Our Party will continue to fight for these values by ensuring we build an open, inclusive, grassroots and dynamic political operation," Johns concluded.
Johns grew up and lives in East Gwillimbury, where he is a partner in a chain of independent grocery stores across the region. He currently holds executive positions on a federal and provincial riding association. Johns has managed campaigns and has played various other roles for candidates for MP, MPP, school board and town council across York Region and Simcoe County. Before his selection as the new party president, Johns served as vice-president, GTA North on the Ontario Liberal Party Executive Council. His former position will now also be filled by a forthcoming appointment process.