Could York-Simcoe’s Member of Parliament be a candidate for leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party?
Rumours are afloat that Peter Van Loan, now serving as Public Safety Minister in Stephen Harper’s government, is assessing whether a run at the P.C. leadership would be in his best interests.
John Tory’s departure from provincial politics after a disastrous by-election loss recently has created widespread speculation about his eventual successor. The party will meet to choose a new leader June 30.
Van Loan is no stranger to the provincial scene. He served as president of the Progressive Conservative Party under Mike Harris. Since entering federal politics in 2004, he has held four influential cabinet posts.
John Trotter, an Innisfil businessman and staunch Van Loan supporter, said, “Peter is the type of individual who would excel at any public post. He’s very well qualified to make his own decisions and he knows I think he would make a great public servant at any level. He is a tremendous elected official – either as a Cabinet minister, or provincial premier.”
Sources told a Toronto newspaper that Van Loan has been contacting party members, trying to determine his level of support.
Chris McCluskey, press secretary for Van Loan’s ministry, said Van Loan isn’t commenting on the speculation about his political future.
“He is very focused on his work as Public Safety Minister,” McCluskey said. “His focus is on the job.”
That job includes meeting with high-ranking officials of the Barack Obama administration this weekend.
As for Van Loan, the only public comment he made about Tory’s departure was it “was a great loss for all the people of Ontario.”