Kitchener-Waterloo

Former Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris to run for regional council

Michael Harris, who served as the MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga from 2011 to this year, has filed his paperwork to run for regional council.

Michael Harris removed from PC caucus over texts sent to a former intern

Former Kitchener-Conestoga PC MPP Michael Harris will run in the upcoming municipal election. He is seeking a regional council seat in Kitchener. (Amanda Grant/CBC)

Michael Harris, the former Progressive Conservative MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga, has filed his paperwork to run for regional council.

Harris filed his paperwork Wednesday morning, documents on the region's website show. He will be running for one of the councillor seats in Kitchener. 

Nine people are in the running for four elected seats. Also running is: Elizabeth Clarke, Tom Galloway, Mary Hall, Tom Hiller, Jason House, Geoff Lorentz, Ted Martin and Kari Williams.

'They see through exactly what happened'

Harris served as the MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga between 2011 and 2018.

In April, he said he didn't plan to run in the provincial election due to an eye condition called keratoconus that required surgery.

Soon after, it was revealed the PC caucus had removed him over inappropriate texts he sent to a former intern. He then apologized and said he regretted his actions.

"The last several months, the community at large has been fantastic. I think that they see through exactly what happened. I don't dispute that, and I look forward to talking about the issues that actually matter to them the most," he added.

Harris said he discussed the idea of running with his family and people who reached out to him.

"Through those conversations whether by phone or email or cards or just personal interactions that led to eventually my decision to continue to serve the community in some way," he said in an interview Wednesday.

He added he has a young family and he likes the idea of being home more.

"We felt that in this stage in our life, being able to contribute is still very, very important but you know what, though, I think it's an expectation that a regional councillor is just a part-time position and that perhaps suited better for us as a family and it still allows me the head back to the private sector," he said.

PC Mike Harris Jr., son of former premier Mike Harris and not relation to Michael Harris, won the Kitchener-Conestoga seat in June's provincial election.

Harris is not the only former MPP to seek a seat in the Oct. 22 municipal election. Kathryn McGarry, former Liberal MPP in Cambridge, is running for the mayor's seat in Cambridge.

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