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Olivia Chow denies Ontario Lieutenant-Governor rumour

NDP MP Olivia Chow asks a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013


Olivia Chow may still be interested in becoming Toronto's next mayor but she says there are no plans afoot to make her the next Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario.

Ms. Chow, the New Democrat MP for the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina, is seen as one of the front-runners in the race to replace Rob Ford, even though she has never officially declared her interest in the job.

On Monday, Ms. Chow took to Twitter to quash rumours that she is in line to be the next vice-regal in her home province.

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"It seems the rumor mill is in full force this morning. Let me be crystal clear, the reports of an LG offer are completely false," Ms. Chow tweeted and repeated in an e-mail sent to The Globe and Mail.

Her rejection of the rumour was prompted by a blog post by Steve Paikin, the host of The Agenda, a current affairs television show broadcast on Ontario's TVO channel.

Mr. Paikin pointed out that the tenure of David C. Onley, Ontario's current Lieutenant-Governor, will come to an end later this month.

"Lieutenant-Governors are appointed by the prime minister. I'm told Chow has been offered the job by Prime Minister Harper," wrote Mr. Paikin, who said the appointment could be a way for Mr. Harper to help the re-election chances of Rob Ford, "his ideological soul mate."

"In truth, it's a very clever offer," wrote Mr. Paikin. "Chow is a terrific 'people person,' and would do an excellent job as LG. She would also make history as the first lieutenant-governor of Asian descent …"

The Prime Minister's Office also denied an offer was made.

Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, said in an e-mail to The Globe: "I can tell you that there is absolutely no substance whatsoever to the rumour."

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Even though Ms. Chow has not declared herself to be a mayoralty candidate, some polls suggest she already has a significant edge in support.

Ms. Chow, and John Tory, another of the undeclared front-runners in the race for Toronto mayor, both have large organizations of campaigners in place. They have been working for weeks on everything from social-media strategies to policy positions, as well as preparing to raise the $1.5-million to $2-million needed to mount a serious campaign.

With a report from Jeff Gray in Toronto

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More


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