NORTH YORK — Michael Coteau, the third-term Liberal MPP, spoke Saturday at a packed Rally for Change at his old public school in Flemingdon Park.
“I want to ensure that our province is the best place in the world to grow up. Where children and youth feel the safest, are the healthiest, receive the best education and the greatest opportunities possible,” Coteau said, adding, “I want to take on Doug Ford and his Conservative government – to stop his agenda of cuts and destruction.”
“Ford doesn’t understand civility, respect, decency, the need to work together and help one another,” Coteau charged. “I want to send a message to Doug Ford – that his type of politics isn’t welcome here in Ontario any more. Doug Ford is trying to divide us, trying to pull us apart. I’m here because we need to pull together.
“Doug Ford has an agenda to attack and undo, to cut and destroy. He thinks sending you to the corner store for a six-pack will distract you from the damage he’s doing. Doug Ford — listen up — your six-pack politics isn’t going to work in Ontario any more,” Coteau said.
“I have a very different vision for this province’s future, and I believe it’s a vision I share with all of you gathered here today, and with people in every part of Ontario. To make this province the safest, healthiest, best possible place for kids to grow up — to understand that our kids matter, that they are worthwhile, that they are the best investment we can make in our future,” Coteau concluded. “That’s my vision for Ontario.”
Michael Coteau immigrated to Canada as a child and grew up in Flemingdon Park, a working-class neighbourhood in North York. The first member of his family to graduate high school and university, he started his own small business, worked as a community organiser and head of a national nonprofit. He was elected to the Toronto District School Board three times and served as vice-chair of the board, championing digital tools in the classroom, equity strategies and community use of schools.
Coteau was elected three times as Member of Provincial Parliament for Don Valley East, and served in multiple ministries where he was tasked with bringing people together to fix tough files, including supports for children with autism, reforming services for children in care, delivering a successful Pan-Am Games, supporting film and cultural economic development, and implementing an anti-racism strategy.
He and his wife, Lori, are raising two young daughters.