Christine Elliott, the deputy leader of the Ontario PCs and widow of federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, will announce she will run to replace Tim Hudak as leader of the provincial Progressive Conservatives.
Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics, says Elliott will make the announcement on Wednesday. A news release late Tuesday said Elliott will make an "important announcement" Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET at the University of Toronto.
Elliott will have the support of seven caucus members when she makes the announcement, Solomon reported.
Her message is expected to be that Ontario PCs have not been listening, were rejected by voters, and need to fix that.
Elliott has been the member of the legislature for Whitby-Oshawa, a riding east of Toronto, since she won a 2006 byelection. A lawyer who practised real estate, corporate and estate law, she graduated from London's University of Western Ontario.
Elliott ran against Hudak for the party leadership in 2009 and finished third. Her then-colleague Frank Klees came in second.
Hudak stepping down
Hudak led the Official Opposition PCs to an embarrassing loss on June 12, losing nine seats in an election where the party had expected to at least win a minority government.
Hudak announced soon after that his intention to step down as of July 2.
Last summer, the Ontario PCs lost four out of five byelections. Klees pushed for a leadership review, but Elliott had urged patience.
She said then that Hudak was making an effort to see what went wrong in the lost byelections.
"As for people bringing challenges forward, it happens all the time, there's always going to be some people that aren't going to be happy," she said. "But I think that we all need to just calm down a little bit."
Klees didn't seek re-election on June 12.