Councillor Minnan-Wong to seek Ontario Tory nomination for 2018 election /Link
Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong is the latest city councillor poised to try and make a move to Queen’s Park in next year’s provincial election.
“I’ll be putting my name forward as a candidate in Don Valley East,” the councillor said Thursday during a break from a council meeting.
The boundaries of the provincial Don Valley East riding encompass all of Minnan-Wong’s council Ward 34.
After 24 years as a city councillor, Minnan-Wong said it was time for a change, both for him, at this stage in his career, and at Queen’s Park, where the Liberals have governed since 2003.
“I’m excited for what Patrick Brown and the Ontario PCs are offering. Patrick’s young, energetic, he’s hard working.” Minnan-Wong also endorsed Brown early on in the Tory leadership race.
“When he talked to me then, he told me he wanted to make the party more diverse, and modern and moderate and as a elected official in Toronto, that really did appeal to me. That’s why I supported him and he’s done very well in accomplishing those goals.”
The council veteran said he is impressed with Brown’s platform, The People’s Guarantee, which his offering tax cuts, money for daycare and dental-care policy for seniors. He also likes the Tories’ promise to take over the capital and maintenance costs of the TTC.
“It’s a compelling platform that I think has a lot of appeal in Toronto,” Minnan-Wong said. “As a father of three young children, all under the age of 6, I understand how hard it is to live in the city of Toronto.”
The 53-year-old politician, one of council’s most notorious penny pinchers, said it’s a difficult decision to leave city hall.
“I think I’ve made a significant contribution, but it’s time for a change. (Premier) Kathleen Wynne is past her best-before date. The rot has set in.”
Minnan-Wong said he has not decided whether he will leave council during the provincial election campaign. Under Ontario law, municipal councillors do not have to resign their seats if they run provincially.
“I have to win the nomination first,” he said. The party has to set a nomination date. “I have informed the riding president that I intend to seek that nomination and I hope the meeting date will be set fairly soon.”
Conservative insider and commentator Amanda Galbraith said Minnan-Wong’s move is a big political pickup for Brown.
“Denzil is the kind of star candidate you want to see step up and run if you’re looking to form government,” she said Thursday.
She called him an interesting blend of conservatism.
“As public works chair he brought in the first separated bike lanes in the city of Toronto and at the same time he's one of the most vocal advocates for keeping taxes low and limiting the size of government.
Minnan-Wong follows a growing number of councillors looking to make a leap onto the provincial scene.
Councillor Chin Lee (Scarborough Rouge-River, Ward 41) who has been nominated for the Liberals in the redrawn riding of Scarborough North, and Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East). She is running for the Grits in the new riding of Don Valley North in the June 7, 2018 election.
Last year, former Scarborough councillor Raymond Cho became the Scarborough Rouge-River Tory MPP after winning a byelection.
(@)Betsy Powell - Court Reporter
Published on 07 Dec 2017 at 10:09PM