Sudbury byelection called for Feb. 5
Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault (Toronto Sun files)
A byelection prompted by the surprise resignation of a newbie NDP MPP has been called for the provincial riding of Sudbury for Feb. 5.
Joe Cimino had barely found his chair in the legislature before quitting for personal reasons last November, less than six months after first winning the seat.
It promises to be an equally surprising byelection.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Sudbury Wednesday with the Liberal candidate, Glenn Thibeault, who has just resigned as the NDP MP for the area.
“I’m very excited to be a part of the Ontario Liberal team,” Thibeault said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the candidate who ran for Wynne’s Liberals in last year’s provincial election — Andrew Olivier — has decided to campaign this time around as an independent.
Olivier has said that he was asked by the Liberals not to seek the party nomination in Sudbury, and opposition parties have asked Elections Ontario to investigate his allegations that he was offered a job to stay out of the race.
Paula Peroni will run for the Progressive Conservatives, while the NDP will choose their candidate at a nomination meeting scheduled for Sunday.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath predicted the Liberal manoeuvre would not be rewarded by voters in Sudbury.
Horwath wouldn’t confirm Thibeault’s defection from the federal NDP to the provincial Liberals was a setback for her and federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
“What both of us, actually I think, would agree is that we’re watching cynical Liberals play to the tune that they always play,” Horwath said. “Mr. Thibeault ... in a cynical way, for what I believe are cynical reasons, has joined a cynical team.”
Wynne said in a statement that Thibeault would “continue” to serve Sudbury as a part of the Liberal team.
“Glenn’s energy and experience will make him an invaluable addition as we work to bring greater security and more opportunity to the people of Sudbury, and across the province,” she said.