The Liberal MPP who represents the riding where Eve Adams would like to run says she will get the nomination "over my dead body."
Mike Colle, who has represented Eglinton-Lawrence at Queen's Park for nearly 20 years, had those harsh words on Tuesday for Ms. Adams, the federal MP who defected from the Conservatives one day earlier. She currently represents suburban Mississauga-Brampton South, but is said to be eyeing the nomination in the federal counterpart to Mr. Colle's riding.
On his Facebook page, Mr. Colle linked to a Huffington Post article about Ms. Adams's intention to run in Eglinton-Lawrence. "Over my dead body!" he wrote overtop it. Mr. Colle's remark also appeared in the comment section on the HuffPo website.
In an interview, Mr. Colle accused the Liberal Party of giving local members in Eglinton-Lawrence the "back of the hand" by looking to bring Ms. Adams in as a candidate.
"Imposing someone or someone coming in out of the blue with no knowledge of the issues here or ever involved in any issues here, to think they could come in and take the nomination, is a real back of the hand to the regular people who vote Liberal and volunteer for the Liberal Party in Eglinton-Lawrence," Mr. Colle said.
He said Ms. Adams has "no connection" to the riding.
Ms. Adams is no stranger to contentious nomination battles. Last year, she sought the nomination in the new riding of Oakville North-Burlington, likely to be a safer Conservative seat than her current turf. The fight got so bad that the party postponed the nomination.
Then, in January, the Conservatives told her that she would not be allowed to run for the party at all. She defected to the Liberals shortly after.
Mr. Colle described Ms. Adams's defection as "a real political kindergarten process."
"It looks bad on the Liberal Party. It looks bad on her," he said. "And we don't need this in Eglinton-Lawrence. That's why I'm speaking on behalf of a lot of, I'm sure the majority of, Liberals in Eglinton-Lawrence. We never asked for this and we don't need any part of this."
He also criticized the federal party for welcoming her so quickly. Leader Justin Trudeau appeared at her side on Monday to announce her floor-crossing.
"If she crossed the floor, let her spend some time in political purgatory or whatever it is," Mr. Colle said. "But to embrace her as this saviour, and to pluck her into a riding really has rubbed people the wrong way. I haven't heard one good comment about it."
Mr. Colle, who served as a cabinet minister during former premier Dalton McGuinty's first term and currently sits on the back bench, said he is not "outwardly" supporting any particular candidate for the Eglinton-Lawrence nomination. But he said he would campaign for someone other than Ms. Adams if she does make a bid for the nomination.
Lawyer Marco Mendicino, a former Crown attorney, has declared his candidacy for the nomination.
The seat is currently held federally by Finance Minister Joe Oliver, but was represented by the Liberals for 30 years until 2011. Provincially, it is considered a safe seat: Mr. Colle won it for the sixth time last June with 54 per cent of the vote.