McCrimmon not expected to run again, Carney could succeed her as next Liberal candidate in Kanata-Carleton, say Liberal sources – The Hill Times

Posted: July 16, 2021 at 1:25 pm

Two-term Ottawa Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon is not expected to run again in Kanata-Carleton and political insiders say Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, could run in the Ottawa area riding.

Karen McCrimmon has dedicated her life and career to serving Canadians, and she has always worked tirelessly to build a better future for her community, saidBraeden Caley, senior director of communications for the Liberal Party of Canada, in an emailed response to The Hill Times, who also declined to confirm or deny if Ms. McCrimmon is running in the next election. Mr. Caley also did not confirm or deny the speculation that Mr. Carney will likely run in Kanata-Carleton in Ms. McCrimmons place.

Were looking forward to re-electing our Liberal team in Parliament whenever the next election eventually arrives, and adding even more talented and dedicated community leaders as new Liberal MPs in currently unheld ridings, said Mr. Caley.

Mark Carney, former governor of Bank of Canada and Bank of England, is expected to run for the Liberals in the next election. The Hill Times file photograph

Ms. McCrimmon, 62, who is the nominated candidate for the Liberal Party for the next election, did not respond to interview requests sent to her personal email address and phone number. In response to calls and emails made to her office, a staffer said she was unavailable until the week of July 26.

If Ms. McCrimmon decides not to run, she will be the second Ottawa-area nominated MP to do so.Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre, Ont.) announced late last month that she wont seek re-election for family reasons.

Ms. McCrimmon, a former lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Air Forces, was first elected to the House in the 2015 election with a margin of 12.2 per cent of the votes. The margin, however, went down to 6.6 per cent in the last federal election.

As of last week, 21 MPs from all parties had announced they would not seek re-election, including eight Liberals, seven Conservatives, two Bloc Qubcois, three New Democrats, and one Independent. If Ms. McCrimmon decides not to run again, she will be the 22nd MP.

Meanwhile, Liberal sources told The Hill Times that Mr. Carneys potential Liberal candidacy for the next election is something in active consideration. The Liberals sources declined to be identified because they are not authorized to talk about party strategy.

In April, Mr. Carney delivered the keynote speech at the Liberal Partys virtual national policy convention and said he would do whatever I can to support the Liberal Party in our efforts to build a better future for Canadians. Even before the speech, there was massive speculation circulating that Mr. Carney would run for the Liberals, but didnt have a riding to run in. Liberal insiders took his speech and the platform the party gave him as the strongest hint that he will run and say that if he was not interested in running, he could have easily said so in numerous media interviews hes done since his book Value(s): Building a Better World for All came out months ago.

In almost every interview, the former central banker has been asked if hes going to run, but hasnt given a clear answer.

Liberal sources said that if Ms. McCrimmon does decide to run, two other ridings might be considered, Ottawa South or Ottawa Centre.

Ottawa South is currently represented by six-term Liberal MP David McGuinty, chair of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. Mr. McGuinty, the brother of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, has represented the riding since 2004. He won the 2019 election with 52.4 per cent of the vote. In early May, Mr. McGuinty provided a statement to The Hill Times that hes running in the next election.

I am delighted to confirm that I am the nominated Team Trudeau Liberal candidate for Ottawa South and that I am running in the next federal election, whenever that might be, Mr. McGuinty toldThe Hill Timesin an emailed statement in May.It is my greatest honour and the highlight of my public-sector career to serve my constituents of Ottawa South. Following in my familys footsteps, I am working hard every day to represent my constituents and I hope to earn their trust once again in the next campaign.

Former attorney general of Ontario Yasir Naqvi is seeking Liberal nomination in Ottawa Centre. Photograph courtesy of Twitter

The riding of Ottawa Centre opened up for the Liberal nomination last month after Ms. McKenna announced abruptly that she wont run again. Yasir Naqvi, former Ontario minister of justice and attorney general, has thrown his hat in the ring, and is the only declared candidate so far.

Mr. Carney, 56, is now the vice chair of Brookfield Asset Management, and the UN special envoy on climate change and finance. He was not available for an interview last week.

Barring a fourth wave of COVID-19, the next election is expected to happen between August and October. Politicos from all parties expect the writ to be dropped in August with the election to happen in September.

What party wouldnt want him to run? Hes an amazing candidate, said Tim Barber, a principal at Bluesky Strategy Group and co-founder of Canada 2020 think tank, who has known the Carney family for years.Hes been an outstanding public servant.

Mr. Barber said he expects Mr. Carney to run in the next election but did not know which riding he would run in.

If Mr. Carney does decide to run, hes seen as one of the potential leading leadership candidates to succeed Mr. Trudeau whenever he decides to leave.

Some political insiders interviewed for this article said that, considering the next election campaign is expected to start in a few weeks, Mr. Carney should have been nominated by now.

Nows the time to get in if youre interested, said the source. I dont think its any secret that Justin Trudeau probably wont run again, after this. So my view is there would be a leadership within two years, assuming he wins government back, which right now, looking at the numbers, seems quite likely.

The source said its critical for the Liberals potentially heading into their third mandate to show that theyve got the momentum and the mojo to attract talented candidates. But the source added that it appears The Centre is not showing seriousness in recruiting star candidates. The source cited the example of Don Iveson who was seen as a potential star candidate for the Liberals in Edmonton Centre but decided not to run last week. They added that sometimes it appears the Centre is repeating the same lack of seriousness in Mr. Carneys case.

I dont understand this but it [Mr. Carneys candidacy] doesnt seem to be moving at a pace that it should be moving, the source said.

But another source said the reason why Mr. Carney has not been officially announced as the candidate is that its not a given that the writ would be dropped on a specific date as things could change with a potential fourth wave of COVID or for some other reason. So, as soon as Mr. Carney becomes a candidate, he will have to step down from his UN responsibilities and at Brookfield management.

If we had a fourth wave, there would be no election, said the source. So you would have had someone like him stepping away from all of the other work that hes doing, because the minute he becomes a declared candidate, hes got to step away from the United Nations Climate stuff hes doing, hes got to step away from his day job. So, I dont think its necessary that he be way, way out ahead.

Pollster Nik Nanos of Nanos Research told The Hill Times that the Liberals are currently the front-runners and said it will be nice to have star power in their slate of candidates, but also said its not required. Mr. Nanos said that one reason Liberals may be reluctant to announce Mr. Carneys candidacy at this time and to give too much profile pre-election is that it could undermine Mr. Trudeaus political capital as the former central banker is seen as the potential future leader of the Liberal Party.

There are complications for the Liberal Party to elevating Mark Carney to a significant stature in the short term, said Mr. Nanos. And what will happen is that, visually, if they gave him that sort of platform, regardless of the intent, visually, it would look like he is being positioned to be the next leader of the party.

Mr. Nanos said that potentially, Mr. Carney could win if he ran in any of the three ridingsKanata-Carleton, Ottawa South, and Ottawa Centrebut said it depends how easy the Liberal leadership wants to make it for him to win. Based on that criteria, he said, Ottawa South would be the easiest to win and Kanata-Carleton the hardest. In Ottawa South, he said, Mr. Carneys win would depend largely on the support of Mr. McGuinty.

So if this was about helping Mark Carney enter Parliament, Ottawa South would be probably at the top of the list, said Mr. Nanos. But with that, it would require the blessing of the McGuintys who are still a very powerful force within that riding.

The Hill Times

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McCrimmon not expected to run again, Carney could succeed her as next Liberal candidate in Kanata-Carleton, say Liberal sources - The Hill Times

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