Last year, it was Toronto city councillor Bas Balkissoon, running (and winning) in Scarborough-Rouge River.
In 2004, it was Ralph Agostino, brother of the late and much loved Hamilton East MPP Dominic Agostino, running (and losing) in his sibling’s Steeltown riding.
Now, in Toronto-Danforth, the riding vacated by New Democrat Marilyn Churley, who ran (and lost) federally in Beaches-East York, the Liberals are installing another star candidate.
This time it is Ben Chin, former Toronto 1, CBC, Citytv and CTV broadcaster, who was hired last year to work in the premier’s office as a senior adviser.
The affable Chin, well liked by his former colleagues in the media, will get the Liberal nomination next Wednesday, according to an internal e-mail obtained by us.
“I just wanted to let you know that the Nominations Panel for Toronto-Danforth PLA has met and has approved the Nomination plan for this riding,” writes Grit executive Jennifer Berney.
“The nomination will be held on Thursday, February 16th at Centennial College, 951 Carlaw Avenue (at Mortimer) and the only name put forward on this plan will be Ben Chin. The evening begins at 7:30, with the official meeting beginning at 8:00. I hope you will consider joining us if you are able,” enthuses Berney.
“Please contact me with any questions.”
OK, here’s one: why field a candidate who doesn’t even live anywhere near to the riding?
Here’s another: why waste a blue-chip candidate like the Etobicoke-residing Chin in a riding that will almost certainly be held by the NDP?
The New Democrats also have their nomination meeting this week. Unlike the Liberals, there are two front-runners for the job: stalwarts Barbara Warner and Peter Tabuns.
And unlike the Liberal Party, the NDP always throws everything it has into byelections. The third party has little else to do and nothing much to lose.