At a packed and emotional meeting after the Liberals swept to power in 2015 — and Windsor and Essex County elected NDP MPs — Liberals in Windsor-Tecumseh vowed to rebuild and elect a government member in 2019.Now, five months before the election, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and much of his cabinet toured here targeting seats, three of the four local ridings haven’t nominated a Liberal candidate yet.Chances are Windsor will remain bereft of a government member after Oct. 21.The Liberals, targeting Windsor-Tecumseh, wanted candidates ready early in the year.When will a candidate be nominated?“Maybe next month,” said riding president Sukhpal Banga.The party hasn’t approved candidates to seek the nomination yet.They’re not playing to winJeewen Gill, who ran for the Liberals in Windsor-Tecumseh in the 2013 provincial by-election and finished a distant third, is expected to win the nomination. The 51-year-old real estate broker, a longtime riding executive member, has signed up 400 to 500 new members. But the wider public doesn’t know him, and observers who follow local politics don’t think he can win.
Melinda Munro, who is seeking the Liberal nomination in Windsor West in the upcoming federal election is shown at her Windsor, ON. office on Friday, May 17, 2019.
Dan Janisse /
Linda McCurdy, daughter of former NDP MP Howard McCurdy, who held the riding when it was Windsor-Walkerville and Windsor-St. Clair and later switched to the Liberals, is also seeking the nomination. If the Liberals rebound nationally, the 56-year-old defence lawyer could win. But she’ll have to catch Gill first.Former longtime, respected city councillor and Liberal Bill Marra could win, but he’s not seeking the nomination.“I’m just not ready to pursue politics again,” he said.As University of Windsor political science professor Lydia Miljan said, “They’re not playing to win.”The Liberals, who once held the federal and provincial riding, haven’t done what they vowed to do, said a party insider.“Unless you create a farm team and infrastructure, you’re never going to be able to really compete,” the insider said.Leo Demarce, who ran for deputy mayor in Tecumseh in the municipal election, and Igor Dzaic, 29, who has a university degree and several diplomas but no job, are seeking the Conservative nomination.And Greg Lemay, who finished fourth in Ward 8 in the municipal election, is running as an independent.“This gives people the opportunity to have another option. We can side with whatever works for us,” he said, making it sound much simpler than it is.So, incumbent Cheryl Hardcastle, who holds minor critic roles and is largely invisible, and whose party is projected to win 16 per cent of the vote, will probably win re-election.In the riding of Windsor West, former city councillor Paul Borrelli, a former Conservative gunning for the Liberal nomination, has abruptly withdrawn, citing a “personal matter.”A University of Waterloo social development professor who calls Windsor “my second home” is one of two candidates approved so far to seek the party nomination there. Hsaio d’Ailly lives in Waterloo but has owned property here since her son started law school at the University of Windsor in 2012. Her riding in Waterloo already has a Liberal MP — House leader Bardish Chagger — so d’Ailly’s running here.“I spend about half my time in Windsor,” she said.With a university and college and soon two international bridges, Windsor West has a lot of potential but needs attention and resources, she said.She’s smart; she’s had a distinguished career at the University of Waterloo. She’s active in the community — in Waterloo. She’s a capable candidate, but she’ll be dogged by the question, why are you running here?Melinda Munro, a sharp and knowledgeable former trial lawyer and city administrator, is also seeking the nomination. Munro, 55, was the city’s first diversity and accessibility officer and led a major review of city services under former mayor Eddie Francis. She’s now a consultant who advises governments and not-for-profits on how to best deliver services.With an economy based on international trade and an unpredictable largest trading partner, Windsor needs a strong, skilled advocate in government, Munro says. After 17 years under the NDP, the riding still has among the highest rates of children living in poverty, she also noted.She’s a more than capable candidate. The federal riding was Liberal for four decades under Herb Gray, and the Grits held the provincial riding for 15 years under Sandra Pupatello and Teresa Piruzza. The party has been rebounding there, more than doubling the vote in the last election and producing several city councillors, trustees and municipal candidates.Related
But it will be a task for Munro to become known, sell a now-struggling party and prime minister and beat six-term incumbent Brian Masse.Henry Lau, who has run in multiple elections at all levels of government, and Rinku Shah are seeking the Conservative nomination in Windsor West.firstname.lastname@example.org