Thursday, April 17, 2014

Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan expected to run for Liberals in federal byelection

TORONTO - Councillor Adam Vaughan is ready to leave City Hall and head to Parliament Hill.

Vaughan announced Thursday he wants to run as a Liberal in the upcoming Trinity-Spadina federal byelection.

“I will be seeking the nomination,” Vaughan told the Toronto Sun Thursday. “I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting for two very important things for the city — one is a cities agenda that comes from Ottawa ... and I’ve been fighting to build housing — more housing, better housing, fix housing.

“I can go to Ottawa and I can get Ottawa to do it.”

The Trinity-Spadina (Ward 20) councillor — who was elected with almost 75% of the vote in 2010 — has been one of Mayor Rob Ford’s most vocal opponents at City Hall but he’s ready to give up his council seat for a chance to serve in Ottawa.

“When the byelection is called I will be stepping down from my council seat and I will not be seeking re-election at city council,” Vaughan said. “I’m not running with a default position of having a seat to fall back on.”

Vaughan met with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau on Wednesday to find out where he stood on housing.

“I want (Trudeau) to be the next prime minister of this country,” he said.

The byelection is needed to fill the seat left vacant when Olivia Chow jumped into the Toronto mayor’s race. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to announce a date soon.

Vaughan would be facing NDP candidate Joe Cressy — a key Chow supporter.

“Good luck with the nomination, Adam Vaughan,” Cressy tweeted Thursday. “Perhaps I’ll see you on the doorsteps and at the debates soon enough.”

Vaughan dismissed the idea Chow’s old riding was a lock for the NDP.

“Last time the NDP tried to replace Olivia Chow with a staffer, I ran and won,” he said, referring to his municipal election in 2006.

“I have a record. I have strong support in this riding and I have a strong record in this riding,” he said.

Right-wing Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong bid Vaughan adieu via Twitter.

“Good luck, Adam! Our loss will be their loss,” Minnan-Wong tweeted.

Mayor Ford was a bit more diplomatic at the possible departure of his foe.

“I wish him the best of luck,” Ford said.
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