Ontario Liberal “Common Ground” Engages 55,000 Participants

Final online policy forum to take place Monday

Friday, November 24, 2017

TORONTO — The Ontario Liberal Party’s “Common Ground” grassroots policy consultation is wrapping up its series of live-streamed online policy dialogues with Ontario Liberal MPPs, candidates and thought leaders with a conversation on Monday, November 27 with the Hon. Chris Ballard MPP, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Laura Zizzo of Zizzo Strategies and Julia Langer of The Atmospheric Fund on creating resilient municipalities in the face of climate change.

The Common Ground approach has engaged tens of thousands of people across Ontario in an open, democratic dialogue since its launch in Kitchener earlier this November.

“In contrast to the top-down, closed approach of the Conservatives—who have allocated just thirty minutes of policy discussion at their so-called policy conference—the Ontario Liberal policy dialogues alone have already engaged roughly 55,000 participants in just three weeks online and in person. Through a series of policy forums, Ontario Liberals have reached out to the people of the province to exchange ideas and have fruitful conversations with experts and everyday citizens,” said platform co-chair Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre

At the same time, in addition to the 55,000 people engaging with the policy dialogues, the Party’s Common Ground website, commonground.ontarioliberal.ca, has engaged roughly 4000 users from all across the province. These individuals have submitted 273 ideas and counting, with just under 17,000 individual votes cast on various ideas to date. 

“Whether it’s a mother submitting an idea about mental-health funding or a small-town mayor rallying his community to vote on a suggested piece of local infrastructure, it’s inspiring to watch people share so many intriguing ideas, and to follow along with the passionate conversations we see occurring online and at in-person policy discussions all across the province,” said platform co-chair Damien O’Brien, the Party’s Vice-President (Policy).

The Common Ground website will remain open for idea generation, discussion and voting throughout December. In January, some of the top-ranked ideas will be further refined before a final survey of participants will occur to vote for the top ideas, with an update at the Party’s Annual General Meeting in February.

The live-streamed online policy dialogues hosted by the Party were:


Inclusive Economic Growth

Hon. Kathleen Wynne MPP

Irfhan Rawji - Principal, Totem Capital Corporation 

Naureen Rizvi - Ontario Regional Director, Unifor

Sean Mullin - Executive Director, Brookfield Institute


Childcare Expansion

Hon. Indira Naidoo-Harris MPP

Monica Lysack - Professor, Early Childhood Leadership, Sheridan College

Fiona Cascagnette - Vice-President, YMCA of Simcoe-Muskoka


Housing Affordability

Hon. Peter Milczyn MPP

Councillor Shelley Carroll - Toronto Ward 33

Harvey Cooper - Managing Director, Ontario Region, Co-op Housing Federation of Canada


Digital Government Services

Manu Kabahizi - Co-Founder and CTO, Ulula

Meghan Hellstern - Education and Community Program Manager, Code for Canada

Sean Speer - Instructor, University of Toronto School of Public Policy and Governance

Jesse Darling - Senior Projects Designer, Brookfield Institute 


Future of Medicare

Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins MPP

Durhane Wong-Rieger - President and CEO, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders

Joanne DiNardo - Senior Manager, Canadian Cancer Society


Indigenous Reconciliation 

Hon. David Zimmer MPP

Saga Williams - AS Williams Consulting

Darian Baskatawang -  Student, Queen's University 


Resilient Communities

Hon. Chris Ballard MPP

Mayor Bonnie Crombie - City of Mississauga

Julia Langer - CEO, The Atmospheric Fund

Laura Zizzo - CEO, Zizzo Strategy



For more information: