Rumours abound about mayor being named candidate as province nears election
One resident, Peter Browne, said he got the call about 4 p.m. It was an automated phone poll from a company called Outsmart Communications, a Hamilton-based company with a satellite office in Northern Ontario.
“The asked me if I would vote for (Marianne) Matichuk for the Liberals or (Joe) Cimino for the NDP,” Browne said. “Nothing about the PCs or any other party.”
A second question, Brown said, asked who he would vote for – NDP, Liberal or Progressive Conservative -- without any candidate's name being attached.
“I told them undecided, as I always do,” said Browne, a small businessman in Sudbury.
Other people in Sudbury also said they received the same call Monday. The reports follow rumours last week that Matichuk was considering a run for the Liberals to replace longtime cabinet minister Rick Bartolucci, who is retiring. A Toronto Star reporter asked Premier Kathleen Wynne on Monday if she was considering appointing Matichuk in Sudbury.
“You know what, there are nomination races happening across the province,” Wynne replied. “And we will see those play out. We don’t know when there will be a provincial election — what’s interesting and exciting to me is that there are good people stepping up.”
When pressed further, Wynne said: “Yes, there is some opportunity to appoint. I have not made any decisions about where I will appoint or whether I will make appointments.”
Rather than saying categorically the story wasn't true, Matichuk responded with an email saying she was “not inclined” with the provincial Liberals.
Matichuk was in Toronto on Monday, attending the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada meeting. In a scrum after Feb. 25's city council meeting, Matichuk admitted she had been approached informally about running for the Liberals.
“I've been approached, but it's like, 'You should run,' just like I was approached to run for mayor,” she said. “Every mayor in Ontario is being poached and coached right now. So you got to look at it.
“Is there interest? Well, come on, you got to look at it ... But right now, no thank you.”
Two candidates – Andrew Olivier and Elise Adnani – are already running for the Liberal nomination in Sudbury. Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino is running for the NDP, while school board trustee Paula Peroni is running for the Tories.
No election has been called, but it's expected Wynne's minority government will fall when it introduces its budget to the Ontario Legislature in late March or early April.