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SCOOP: Horwath in Hamilton
In this edition: Horwath to run for Mayor, Ruby vs. Brown, NDPers prepare to choose a leader, 'Strong Mayor' legislation, meet the Grit interim captain, Team Ford shakeup
In this 8 minute read, Andrea Horwath is gearing up for a mayoral run in Hamilton. Brown is running in Brampton while one “ambitious” Liberal MP considers a bid for the city’s top job. The guidelines for the NDP leadership contest are set. John Fraser is back as Grit interim leader. Plus, a staff shakeup at Queen’s Park.
SCOOP: The race for Hamilton Mayor is about to grow.
Former NDP captain Andrea Horwath will kickoff her bid for Mayor of Hamilton tomorrow morning. Horwath — a local councillor of seven years who quit as party chief over a month ago — will launch her campaign across City Hall.
We got our hands on Horwath's campaign website — while it was live.
The purple and yellow themed site — andrea4hamilton.ca — was registered late June. The site did not officially launch but went down after we disclosed that it was live. Nomination papers must be filed before the site goes live.
There were hints that Horwath was gearing up for a run. The former NDP chief did not rule out the idea of a jump to municipal politics during the campaign and later told reporters that her “heart is always in Hamilton” as rumors were swirling. Horwath got a head start with an early endorsement from outgoing Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “I’m humbled that Fred considers me a strong candidate for mayor of our great city,” she responded.
Horwath is expected to resign as the MPP for Hamilton Centre.
Three candidates — including former Hamilton Chamber of Commerce CEO Keanin Loomis and former Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina — have filed their nomination papers to run. The last day to register is August 19.
Brown in and Sahota mulling a Brampton bid
Liberal MP Ruby Sahota (Brampton North) is considering a mayoral bid in Brampton “following overwhelming support and encouragement from her Brampton North constituents and community advocates.
We started asking Sahota's office about a mayoral bid earlier this month. A spokesperson later said she is “giving thought to a potential mayoral bid” but has not made a final decision. A source familiar with her plan suggested that Sahota would be filing her nomination papers shortly.
“She’s been sidelined and is ambitious,” the source explained her possible jump from the federal to municipal arena. Sahota is currently the Deputy Government Whip and a member of the influential Board of Internal Economy.
Brown foe and Deputy Mayor Martin Medeiros is also running. A Mainstreet Research poll — which did not include Sahota — surveyed Bramptonians on a possible bid by former NDPer Gurratan Singh. Elaine Moore and Gurpreet Dhillon were also mentioned in this poll.
More names could join the race. Tory strategist and pollster Nick Kouvalis — who was part of Premier Doug Ford's successful re-election bid — hinted that he is preparing to “run a campaign for Mayor in Brampton.”
Meanwhile, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is seeking another term in office after being disqualified from the federal Tory leadership race over “serious allegations” of financial wrongdoing by his campaign.
Brown made his bid official last week.
“It's been the greatest privilege to serve the city over the last four years and I'm looking forward to the next four years,” Brown told reporters in front of City Hall after filing his nomination papers. The former leadership candidate — who is still pursuing legal options — said his focus is now on the mayoral race.
Brown brushed off the idea that a mayoral bid was his “second choice.” “I could have served Brampton at a national level,” he explained. “What I could have done for Brampton on a national level is obviously much more significant than what you can do on a local level but I am still going to speak up,” Brown added.
There is a new — and familiar — Grit interim captain in town. Liberal MPP John Fraser “unanimously selected” by caucus to serve as the Ontario Liberal Party's interim leader. Fraser's appointment will be ratified by the party's executive council later next week. “I am grateful to have their trust,” Fraser said. He served in the same role before outgoing leader Steven Del Duca took over as party head.
The Ford government will introduce a “Strong Mayor” system in Toronto and Ottawa. The reforms would provide local mayors with a veto power and more authority over budgetary policy. More mayors may get these enhanced powers within a year after implementation. We reached out to some local mayors — here’s what they had to say:
Toronto Mayor John Tory: “'Strong Mayor' powers are something that I've said I would support — I talked about it before the last election.”
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie: “I’m very interested in learning more about these changes and how they will be operationalized in Ottawa and Toronto. My desire would, of course, be to continue the consensus building that Mississauga Council has a long history of doing on a wide variety of issues, with any special powers being reserved for cases where decisive action is needed. I’ve spoken to the Premier and asked that big cities like Mississauga be a part of this conversation moving forward.”
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown’s office said Brown “looks forward to seeing the proposed legislation. He hopes that if Toronto and Ottawa receive new powers that other large municipalities would be considered in the future.”
Parents of children aged six months to five years old will be able to book appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine using the provincial booking portal on Thursday at 8 AM. The province says youth between 12 to 17 years who are immunocompromised will be eligible to get their fourth shot starting Thursday — at least six months since the last booster.
The NDP have set the rules for the next leadership race. Leadership hopefuls will have until December to register as candidates with a $55,000 entry fee. Two official leadership debates will be held. A leader will be selected in March. More on the leadership guidelines.
ON THE MOVE
Amin Massoudi will bid adieu to the Pink Palace next month — where he served as a key aide and Principal Secretary to Premier Doug Ford. Massoudi was an aide to former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and chaired Ford's last campaign. He is headed to the private sector.
Alexandra Adamo — who served as Press Secretary to Ford— is joining Health Minister Sylvia Jones’ office as Director of Communications. The role has been held by Chelsea Tucker.
Stephen Warner joined Jones’ office as Press Secretary. Warner served Jones in the same role as Solicitor General before moving to the Premier's Office for a brief stint as Senior Issues Manager.
Justyna Zegarmistrz is out as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy to Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli. Zegarmistrz previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Treasury Board.
Hilary Martin has joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office as Manager of Research. Martin previously served as an Earnscliffe consultant and an Executive Assistant to Liberal MPP John Fraser.
Will Wuehr has joined Crestview Strategy as a Consultant. Wuehr served as Regional Press Secretary for the Ontario Liberal Party and senior communications advisor to former captain Steven Del Duca.
NDP MPPs Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale—High Park), Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul's) and Jennifer French (Oshawa) have been named as Deputy Speakers at Queen’s Park.
Andrew will become the first Black woman to hold the post while Karpoche will be the first person of Tibetan descent to take on the high profile role. This is French’s second time in the job.
WHAT WE’RE READING
CANADIAN PRESS: “Pope lands in Edmonton to start 6-day 'penitential' trip aimed at Indigenous reconciliation” by Brittany Hobson
TORONTO STAR: “Rogers executives face hearing into the ‘complete loss of connection’” by Christine Dobby
GLOBAL NEWS: “‘This will be Pierre Poilievre’s party’: Conservatives reckon with a new direction” by Alex Boutilier
THE HILL TIMES: “Del Duca, Schulte, Ferri considering run for Vaughan mayoral race” by Abbas Rana
CBC NEWS: “Lucki, Blair tell Commons committee they didn't meddle in N.S. shooting probe” by Richard Raycraft
Last edition’s answer: Former NDP MPP Taras Natyshak was the party’s ethics critic in the last Legislature. He previously repped the riding of Essex.
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Who were the three candidates who won the most votes in the Hamilton mayoral race in the last election? Know the answer? Email us your answers or reply to this email.
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