Caroline Mulroney, Christine Elliott to run for Ontario PC leadership

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Caroline Mulroney, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, will run for the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership — a race that earlier in the day was also joined by former MPP Christine Elliott — sources with knowledge of her intentions told CBC Toronto.

Mulroney has a law degree from New York University and work experience on Wall Street, but has never held elected office and has only rarely faced the media, though she had a quick interview with CBC’s Catherine Cullen at last year’s federal Conservative leadership convention.

Elliott, who announced “I’m in” on Twitter on Thursday afternoon, confirming earlier reporting by CBC News, is the widow of Jim Flaherty, who served as finance minister in both the Ontario government of Premier Mike Harris and federally under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

She is currently the province’s medical patient ombudsman — a position she was appointed to by Premier Kathleen Wynne. She is also a former deputy leader of the PCs and represented Whitby–Oshawa from 2006 until her resignation in 2015.

Elliot previously ran for the party’s leadership twice but was defeated by Tim Hudak, and later by Patrick Brown. Brown resigned as leader following allegations of sexual misconduct from two women.

Vic Fedeli, the party’s finance critic for the last five years, who also represents the northeastern Ontario riding of Nipissing, was chosen by caucus as temporary leader on Jan. 26.

However, he said Tuesday he will not run to be the permanent leader, instead pledging to fix the “rot” in his party.

PC MPP and energy critic Todd Smith, who had indicated he was considering a run, announced Thursday on Facebook that he would not join the race, saying “fees established by the Party executive last night are simply too high.”

Elliott and Mulroney join former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford in the race, who announced his bid on Monday.

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Caroline Mulroney, Christine Elliott to run for Ontario PC leadership

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