TORONTO – Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have secured a high-profile candidate for the Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in one of five provincial byelections.
PC Leader Tim Hudak confirms Toronto deputy mayor Doug Holyday has agreed to be the party’s candidate in the riding held for the last 10 years by former education minister Laurel Broten.
Holyday, the last mayor of the former city of Etobicoke, placed second as the PC candidate in the old riding of Etobicoke-West during the 1987 provincial election.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday is taking another run at provincial politics by running for the Conservatives in Etobicoke-Lakeshore in a by-election next month up against a fellow councillor.
Holyday says he knows the area well.
“My grandparents moved to Longbranch in 1919 and it was pretty much rural farm area at that time. So our roots are deep in the lakeshore. I play my old-timers hockey down there. I’m down there three or four times a week,” Holyday said Thursday at City Hall.
Holyday is one of the longest serving councillors at city hall but decided to campaign to fill the seat left open by Liberal MPP Laurel Broten.
“We’ve got a campaign office I believe, I can’t give you the address right now. We’ve got a line on a campaign manager and we just got to firm that one up.”
Holyday says he sees a number of problems with the Liberal Government at Queen’s Park.
“That the debt is so large. They put on over $100 billion. They’ve doubled the debt in 10 years and if they keep going for another term it’ll be triple,” Holyday commented.
That’s why he taking a chance despite not having to pounded the pavement for years.
“As a municipal councillor in Canada I’ve pretty well had an easy time of election since 1997. I haven’t put up any signs.”
Holyday will be up against fellow Councillor Peter Milczyn who’s running for the Liberals.
In a statement – Milczyn welcomes Holyday to the race.
“Like me, Doug has seen Etobicoke-Lakeshore grow and change over the years, and I look forward to engaging in a thoughtful discussion about our community’s future,” said Milczyn. “At every door, I have heard the people of Etobicoke-Lakeshore express their desire for a real vision, for government to address the gridlock they face every day, to help them take care of their children, find great jobs and build their neighbourhoods.”
Both Holyday and Milczyn are both taking a leave of absence from City Hall.
“Well I think a leave of absence really means you’re stepping away from your pay check. I still expect to hear from people. My office is still going to run here, we’re still going to look after our constituents,” said Holyday.
Councillor Shelley Carroll wonders if some of the drama at City Hall drive one or both of them away.
“We’ve got a situation here where they are stepping into elections which are very high risk for both of them,” Carroll said.
“I know that both of them meet with some frustration in their daily lives in the current administration.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne was criticized by both the Tories and New Democrats for scheduling the five byelections on Aug. 1, just ahead of a summer long weekend.
The byelections will be held in Windsor, London, Ottawa and in two Toronto ridings to replace five Liberals who resigned since Wynne was sworn-in as premier in February.
The Liberals were one seat short of a majority government before losing the five members, so the outcomes of the byelections will not change the balance of power in the legislature.