The Mayor of Clarence-Rockland is downplaying rumours he will seek the provincial Liberal nomination in Glengarry-Prescott-and Russell for the next election in 2022.

“I haven’t given an answer; there’s still two years to go,” said Guy Desjardins.

He acknowledged that local Liberal officials approached him about seeking the nomination following MPP Amanda Simard’s decision to join the Liberal caucus after sitting as an independent member for 13 months following her departure in 2018 from the Progressive Conservative caucus over cuts to French-language government services.

The Liberal Party had stated that as an incumbent MPP, Simard would automatically have the nomination.  That statement did not impress the Glengarry-Prescott and Russell riding association which wanted an open nomination process.

“She was not a Liberal in the last election,” Desjardins said.

“The only thing we’re asking is to have a nomination process,” he added.

According to the Ontario Liberal Party Constitution, an “incumbent member” is any currently-serving member of the legislature.  The party leader is permitted to appoint incumbent members as nominated candidates in an election campaign.

Desjardins has been concerned about Simard’s lack of presence and visibility at events in the region, and her attendance record in the legislature.

However, Desjardins is not yet prepared to say if he will seek the Liberal nomination.  He said Simard should be focusing on representing the district.

“I don’t want her job, I just want her to do her job,” Desjardins said.