Caro­line Mul­roney gives more than gets from PCs

North Bay Nugget - - OPINION - David Reevely dreevely@post­media.com

Job 1 for the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive party’s new star can­di­date is prov­ing she be­longs in the rid­ing she wants to rep­re­sent, so Caro­line Mul­roney is talk­ing to re­porters in york-sim­coe only for at least the next month, her spokesper­son said thurs­day.

Mul­roney has de­grees from har­vard and New york univer­sity and she’s a lawyer who’s made her ca­reer in in­vest­ment bank­ing. at 43 she’s not a ti­tan of fi­nance, per­haps, but she brings Bay street cred­i­bil­ity, in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and a bit of glam­our to a party whose cau­cus is dom­i­nated by peo­ple whose ré­sumés are more likely to in­clude words like “reeve” than “esq.”

she co-founded a char­ity with her three brothers’ wives, Project shoe­box, that do­nates kits of toi­letries and sim­i­lar es­sen­tials to women stay­ing in shel­ters.

the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives have good can­di­dates, knowl­edge­able can­di­dates, ac­com­plished can­di­dates (like ac­tivist Mer­rilee Fuller­ton in Kanata-Car­leton and fi­nance ex­ec­u­tive Peter Beth­len­falvy in Pick­er­ing). as Caro­line smith, she’d fit right in with them. But as the daugh­ter of for­mer prime min­is­ter Brian Mul­roney, Caro­line Mul­roney brings more to the tory party than the tory party gives her. so, why on­tario pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics? “she feels strongly that the things that re­ally mat­ter to peo­ple is their af­ford­abil­ity, health care, ed­u­ca­tion, hy­dro, and jobs. th­ese mat­ters are di­rectly im­pacted by the de­ci­sions made at Queen’s Park,” spokesper­son re­becca grundy said in an email.

Mul­roney got to know party Leader Pa­trick Brown when he helped col­lect do­na­tions for the shoe­box Project, grundy said, and be­lieves in him.

Be­yond her ré­sumé and name, Mul­roney brings things to the party Brown will find valu­able. he was a solid so­cial con­ser­va­tive as a fed­eral MP who’s now adamant he’s a big­tent cen­trist and no­body knows for sure whether to be­lieve him. Mul­roney gave money to fed­eral Con­ser­va­tive lead­er­ship can­di­date Lisa raitt, ar­guably the most so­cially lib­eral of the se­ri­ous con­tenders to suc­ceed stephen harper. rightwingers were so dis­sat­is­fied with Brian Mul­roney as prime min­is­ter that they walked out of his party and founded their own.

the Lib­er­als wel­comed Mul­roney to ac­tive pol­i­tics by hav­ing a sim­coearea coun­cil­lor pas­sive-ag­gres­sively wel­come her to york-sim­coe, im­ply­ing she’s a car­pet­bag­ger who will of course learn to love the place she’s parachuted into. it’s an ob­vi­ous at­tack, but not nec­es­sar­ily un­fair.

Ju­lia Munro, the rid­ing’s Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive MPP, announced on March 21 she’d re­tire at the next elec­tion. Mul­roney and her hus­band an­drew, the fi­nancier son of New york writer and edi­tor Lewis Lapham, bought a place on the shore of Lake sim­coe in the spring and are ren­o­vat­ing it, grundy said.

“their fam­ily has al­ways been want­ing to even­tu­ally be find­ing a place up there,” grundy said. (grundy her­self is a for­mer Brown ad­viser turned lob­by­ist for a toronto con­sult­ing firm.)

if Mul­roney wins a seat at Queen’s Park, she’ll work in toronto four days a week when the leg­is­la­ture is sit­ting, probably liv­ing in a condo, and com­mute north for week­ends as Munro has, grundy added.

in the mean­time, they’ve got their house in toronto. Pub­lic in­for­ma­tion from elec­tions Canada shows Mul­roney has given an ad­dress in wealthy For­est hill when she’s do­nated to the fed­eral Con­ser­va­tive Party dur­ing the past sev­eral years.

if she were to run there, she’d be up against health Min­is­ter eric hoskins in a rid­ing that’s voted firmly for Lib­er­als since it was cre­ated in 1999. york-sim­coe, is a much, much bet­ter bet.

once she shows that she be­longs there.

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