Caroline Mulroney announced this morning she will attempt to follow in her father’s political footsteps and run in the next Ontario election for the Progressive Conservatives.
The daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney had hinted she was interested in making a career change to politics and in a YouTube video she confirmed she will seek the nomination for the riding of York–Simcoe. The riding is north of Toronto.
“I love this province and I believe in a better future for Ontario,” Mulroney says in her campaign video.
“Government needs to get out of the way, focus more on affordability, manage taxes properly so we get the services we expect,” she said.
In a news release, Mulroney said Ontario “finds itself at a crossroads” and that the next election is “about offering a positive vision” for the province.
“Unlike the current government, I will respect the people of Ontario, their hard-earned money, and the choices they make for their families,” she wrote.
CBC’s Catherine Cullen reported in June that Mulroney would likely seek a nomination in the Greater Toronto Area in the PC Party led by Patrick Brown.
Mulroney said in her announcement that she would be “honoured” to get to work with Brown and the PC Party.
Brown wrote on Twitter that he was “thrilled to see such exceptional individuals” like Mulroney put their names forward for nomination.
Talk about Mulroney entering politics emerged after she made an appearance at the federal Conservative Party’s leadership convention in late May. She took to the stage as one of the masters of ceremonies and poked fun at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wondering aloud why someone would want to run for their dad’s old job as Trudeau did.
‘Always thought’ about politics
In an interview with CBC News she said the door was open to entering politics herself.
“I think politics is definitely something that I’ve always thought about as a career,” she said. “And what I’ve learned from watching my father and so many of our friends participate in it, it’s all about timing and opportunity and getting all those things right.”
Ontario’s election is less than a year away, it’s in June 2018, and the Progressive Conservatives are leading the polls over Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.
At the Conservative convention, Mulroney talked about what she thought would make her a good political candidate.
“I’ve travelled a lot across this country because of my father’s job — I’ve had that experience. I’ve been able to meet a diverse group of Canadians, so I would bring that to it,” Mulroney said. “I’m somebody who’s been working my whole life. I’ve got a career in law and in finance. I’ve worked in the non-profit world starting a charity. I’m a mother raising four children.”
Mulroney and her husband Andrew Lapham have a 12-year-old, 11-year-old twins and a 10-year-old.
She’s currently vice-president of BloombergSen Investment Partners, a Toronto-based investment firm where she has worked since January 2015. She also worked for another Toronto firm, Wellington Financial LP, and spent several years working in New York City as a lawyer. She has degrees from New York University Law School and Harvard College.
Nomination meeting next month
Mulroney also has charitable work on her resume. She co-founded Shoebox Project for Shelters, which delivers gifts to women and girls in homeless shelters.
The riding where Mulroney is seeking the nomination is currently held by PC Julia Munro, who is the longest-serving female MPP at Queen’s Park and is retiring.
She wrote on Twitter that Mulroney has her “full support,” and Munro was quoted in Mulroney’s news release as saying she has “outstanding qualities” and is a “smart business leader with a knack for building consensus and getting results.”
Congratulations on your decision to seek the nomination! You have my full support. https://t.co/YvDHCwHhIV
Mulroney also has the backing of the federal Conservative MP for York-Simcoe, Peter Van Loan, who called her a “great listener,” who has many community leaders supporting her. John Baird, a former MP and cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, also weighed in calling Mulroney “a great get” for Brown and his party. “Congrats to my friend Caroline for taking this step to serve Ontario!” Baird wrote.
Mulroney isn’t the candidate yet for York-Simcoe, she has to secure the nomination at a riding meeting scheduled for Sept. 10.
Father still active in politics
Mulroney is the eldest of the former Conservative prime minister’s four children and his only daughter. Her brother Ben is a well-known television personality.
Her father, who was prime minister from 1984 to 1993, hasn’t completely retired from politics. Most recently he’s been advising the Trudeau government on Canada’s relationship with the United States. Brian Mulroney was no fan of Trudeau’s father Pierre, who led Canada as prime minister before he did, but the two families have been friendly for years now. Ben Mulroney, Justin Trudeau and their wives are friends.
Brian Mulroney has maintained ties to the Ontario PC party, visiting the caucus over the years, and Brown does know the family.
Brown has had to deal with criticism from members in his own party over how candidates have been nominated so far in certain ridings. The turmoil led Brown to hire an auditing firm to ensure the integrity of nomination contests going forward.
Should Mulroney secure the nomination next month, it’s not known who she would be running against in the 2018 election. The candidate selection process is also ongoing for the Liberals and NDP.