Toronto Star reporter Robert Benzie tweeted “@Kathleen_Wynne refuses to say if #olp will appoint Sudbury mayor candidate over popular quadriplegic hopeful. #onpoli” as part of live tweeting a news conference held by Premier Kathleen Wynne and Deputy Toronto Mayor Norm Kelly.
But in an email a few hours later, Matichuk denied the claim.
“I('m) doing my job as mayor and am not inclined with the provincial Liberals.”
Two candidates – businessman Andrew Olivier, who's in a wheelchair, and engineer Elise Idnani — are running to succeed Rick Bartolucci, a longtime Liberal cabinet minister who is retiring as soon as an election is called.
The Tories (school board trustee Paula Peroni) and the NDP (Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino) have their candidates in place for an expected spring election, and the Nickel Belt Liberal riding association has announced they will hold their nomination meeting March 4.
In Sudbury, the provincial Liberals have yet to announce when their meeting will be held, although it's expected to happen in early April. Olivier didn't return a message seeking comment Monday, but Idnani said she hasn't heard anything about a candidate being appointed in Sudbury.
“Andrew and myself are running to be elected, rather than appointed,” she said Monday. “There sure are lots of rumours out there.”
Idnani said she's enjoying the process of running for the nomination, and said the weekend federal Liberal convention was energizing and she plans to attend the provincial party's AGM next month.
“So I'm just going to keep hitting the pavement.”