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Milczyn seeks Liberal nomination, eyes rematch with Holyday

Peter Milczyn ran for the Liberals in a provincial by-election in Etobicoke-Lakeshore last summer, losing to the Progressive Conservatives’ Doug Holyday. Mr. Milczyn is once again seeking the Liberal nomination for the riding.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The upcoming provincial race will feature a rematch of last year's clash between two former Toronto city council allies.

Councillor Peter Milczyn told The Globe and Mail he's seeking the Liberal nomination to run again in Etobicoke-Lakeshore after losing to former council colleague Doug Holyday, the Progressive Conservative candidate, in a by-election last year.

The long-time councillor said that Premier Kathleen Wynne convinced him to run again during a phone call about a month ago and then a follow-up in-person conversation after a Toronto Region Board of Trade speech on April 14.

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"The premier asked me to take another crack at it, so I agreed," Mr. Milczyn said.

Once allies on Mayor Rob Ford's executive committee, the veteran civic politicians engaged in a pitched battle for the riding last summer that resulted in Mr. Holyday prevailing over his Liberal rival by 1,600 votes.

Mr. Holyday, who as deputy mayor acted as a voice of calm during the early days of revelations around Mayor Rob Ford's drug use, earned the enthusiastic endorsement of the Ford family when he announced his provincial candidacy.

But that was all before Mr. Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine and the courts released partial details of a months-long Toronto Police investigation into the mayor that remains ongoing. The emergence of another video last week may have depleted his political capital further.

Mr. Holyday went on to become the Progressive Conservative critic for government accountability and an array of GTA issues, including transportation.

That latter responsibility will be a particular target of Mr. Milczyn's during the campaign, as he uses the experience gained over several years as a TTC commissioner to attack the Tory transportation plan.

"I have to say that listening to Doug Holyday in the legislature over the last eight or nine months talking about transit, which was something he never talked about in his previous 20 years in politics, has been disturbing," he said. "I don't know what he stands for on transit."

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