The Ontario Young Liberals (OYL) is the official youth wing of the Ontario Liberal Party, and the Liberal Party of Canada in Ontario. The OYL's membership includes all members of the Ontario Liberal Party and the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) aged 25 and under. The organization is divided into campus and riding clubs and led by a 16-member executive board. The OYL is unique among partisan youth wings in Canada, as it's made up of both federal and provincial Young Liberals. While it represents the Young Liberals of Canada in Ontario, the OYL is an autonomous organization, not a subsidiary of the YLC (as is the case elsewhere in Canada). The OYL is the largest youth political organization in Ontario, and the largest provincial Young Liberal organization in Canada.
Founded in 1971, the OYL was known as the Ontario New Liberals until the mid-1980s. The organization has consistently proven itself be a training ground for budding politicians and political organizers. Many prominent politicians and staffers are OYL alumni, some of whom have made significant contributions to the organization. These include:Arnold Chan, MP for Scarborough-Agincourt
Steven Del Duca, MPP for Vaughan and Ontario Minister of Transportation (served as President of the University of Toronto Liberals)
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga and former MP for Mississauga-Streetsville (served on as Student Director of the OYL)
Michael Ignatieff, Former federal leader
Dwight Duncan, Former MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh and Ontario Finance Minister
Rob Oliphant, Former MP for Don Valley West (served on the executive of the OYL)
Ruby Dhalla, Former MP for Brampton-Springdale
Since the Liberal Party allocates specific number of delegate spots for campus liberal associations at its national convention, key players of the OYL wielded unique influence in the party’s leadership selection as it has the largest number of campus associations under its jurisdiction. OYL had been a fierce battleground during federal leadership races from the early 80s to 2006. The Paul Martin leadership campaign was particularly notorious for hostile take over of campus liberal associations leading up to the 1990 and 2003 contests.
The OYL executive is made up of 16 OYL members elected to one-year terms by the membership at the OYL Annual General Meeting. The structure of the Executive consists of a President, Executive Vice-President, Vice-President of Federal Affairs, Vice-President of Provincial Affairs, Treasurer, Riding Director, Student Director, Policy Director, Communications Director, Recruitment Director and 6 Regional Coordinators.
The current executive was acclaimed at the 2016 AGM held in Guelph, Ontario.President: Najva Amin
Executive Vice President:Gabrielle Schachter
Vice President, Federal Affairs: Zachary Caldwell
Vice President, Provincial Affairs: Gazal Amin
Treasurer: Domenic Bitondo
Communications Director: Anthony Piruzza
Policy Director: Ian Hall
Riding Director: Charlotte Zronik
Student Director: Alana Kiteley
Recruitment Director: Mike Noehammer
Toronto Region Coordinator: Adrien Blanchard
Central Region Coordinator: Nicholas Ferreira
Northern Region Coordinator: Nathan Gravelle
Eastern Region Coordinator Maddy Dinsdale
South Central Region Coordinator: Lizz Stewart
Southwestern Region Coordinator: Muhammad Iqbal
The OYL recognizes six distinct regions of the province. Each region is represented by a Regional Coordinator. Each region is further broken down by areas, although these area divisions are seldom used. The six regions are: Northern Region, Eastern Region, Central Region, Toronto Region, South Central Region, and Southwestern Region.
The OYL is composed of riding and student clubs. Riding clubs are based in each federal or provincial electoral district. Student clubs are located at universities and colleges in Ontario.
Each club has a constitution, which must agree with the constitutions of the Liberal Party of Canada, the Ontario Liberal Party and the OYL. Each club has an executive, and conducts activities such as community outreach, social events, policy meetings and assists in campaigns during federal or provincial elections.
The executive of the OYL is elected to a one-year term at the Annual General Meeting of the OYL, constitutionally held in February of each year. The AGM is never held in the same region twice. Because the OYL Constitution states that an AGM cannot be held within 6 months of a federal or provincial election, a provision exists allowing the organization to hold the AGM in May rather than February.
In the summer of 2002, the OYL created a new signature event called Summer Fling, which was held at Wilfrid Laurier University the inaugural year. OYL Summer Fling includes a volunteer appreciation dinner, the annual policy conference and many guest speakers. It has quickly become the flagship event of the OYL.
Summer Fling locations