Ontario Liberal leadership hopefuls gather for first debate

The Ontario Liberal leadership hopefuls met in Ingersoll for the first of five debates on December...

The Ontario Liberal leadership hopefuls met in Ingersoll for the first of five debates on December 1, 2012. (SCOTT TAYLOR/QMI Agency)

Scott Taylor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:24 PM ET

INGERSOLL, ONT. - Amid a noisy crowd of protesters outside, seven Liberals debated in small-town southwestern Ontario for the right to replace Dalton McGuinty as the leader of the provincial Grits and -- for a short time, at least -- as premier.

Harinder Takhar, Sandra Pupatello, Charles Sousa, Gerard Kennedy, Eric Hoskins, Kathleen Wynne and Glen Murray spoke to the issues of health care, employment and the difficult economy in the region-- and each outlined why he or she is the best person for the job.

While they all staunchly defended the record of Health Minister Deb Matthews, some acknowledged that the party needs to win back the respect of Ontario voters.


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