Former MP seeks Liberal nomination in riding being vacated by Godfrey
Bulte first to enter race in Don Valley West
OTTAWA— A spirited contest is shaping up to replace John Godfrey as the Liberal candidate in Don Valley West. Sarmite Bulte, former MP for Parkdale-High Park, is the first official entrant into the race to replace Godfrey, who is leaving after 15 years as an MP to become head of the Toronto French School.
“I’m not anticipating it’s going to be easy . . . but here we go,” said Bulte, who was defeated in Parkdale in the last election.
It seemed Bulte had given up on elected politics when she decided to step out of Parkdale so that Gerard Kennedy, the former Ontario education minister and federal leadership candidate, could make his run for a federal seat from there.
Kennedy represented Parkdale as an MPP. Federally, it is now held by New Democrat MP Peggy Nash.
“It was the right thing to do for Gerard. That was the natural place for him,” Bulte said. “But I wasn’t giving up politics for life at that point.”
Bulte noted she lived and worked in Don Valley West for about 10 years before she was in Parkdale, so it seemed like a sensible riding from which to make her bid to return to the Commons.
But she’s not the only high-profile person eyeing the seat.
Mark Warner, the former Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre, who was ousted by the party brass for being too vocal about poverty and social issues, has also said Don Valley West might be a good riding for him if he decides to join the Liberals as a candidate.
“I am told Don Valley West will be a crowded field,” Warner said. “I have not ruled out a run for the Liberals in Toronto if they are seriously interested and if a ‘good fit’ riding becomes available. . . . At this stage, I don’t have any announcements to make, but continue to be flattered by the expressions of interest that I continue to receive . . . in support of my running as a Liberal in the next election.” Riding president Dennis O’Leary, said there’s no rush to fill the nomination, since Godfrey officially isn’t leaving until July 1. An election call before then, however, would obviously hasten the process.