Ottawa

André Marin, ex-ombudsman, to run for PCs in Ottawa-Vanier byelection

André Marin, Ontario's former outspoken ombudsman known for his scathing reports, is jumping into provincial politics as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Ottawa-Vanier.

Ottawa-Vanier is without both an MP and an MPP

Former ombudsman André Marin is expected to be officialy revealed as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Ottawa-Vanier today. (Darren Calabrese/CP)

André Marin, Ontario's former outspoken ombudsman known for his scathing reports, is jumping into provincial politics as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Ottawa-Vanier.

Marin confirmed his nomination on Twitter Saturday morning and later made an official announcement with party leader Patrick Brown, saying he wanted off the sidelines.

"It was a very sudden decision but over time my confidence in the Wynne government had eroded," said Marin, who disagreed with recent changes announced for electricity rates in the throne speech.

I'm surely allowed to be as compelling and as passionate about what I believe in.-   André    Marin

"To me that said well I need to get involved somehow and that's how I contacted the leader of the Opposition and he was glad to welcome me on his team," said Marin.

The former watchdog gained a reputation for his cutting and often over-the-top quotes while criticizing the governing Liberal government's programs and actions.

In one instance, Marin angered the Liberals when he called police detention of protesters during the G20 summit in Toronto in 2010 "the largest mass arrest in Canadian history."

He also had a public spat with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in 2014 about the power to investigate municipalities.

After his term ended he also released a report calling carding "wrong and illegal."

Hydro concerns

Marin says his outspoken behaviour won't be reeled in during this campaign.

"The times people said well he's acting like a politician, well now I am a politician so I'm surely allowed to be as compelling and as passionate about what I believe in," he said. 

PC leader Patrick Brown said there were several candidates interested in the Ottawa-Vanier riding, but when Marin volunteered that interest disappeared and everyone was excited to have such a high-profile candidate.

"We've spoken passionately about hydro in the legislature...one of the first whistle blowers on the government's incompetence was André Marin," said Brown.

"I think it's a real honour to have him as a candidate here," he added.

Marin lives in south Nepean but said he has close connections to Ottawa-Vanier. 

He didn't waste any time following the announcement as he and Brown headed out to canvass in Rockcliffe Park.

"I have very close connections to the current riding," said Marin. "The issues are very close to my heart."

2 byelections needed

Nathalie Des Rosiers, the dean of the University of Ottawa's faculty of law, has announced she wants to run for the provincial Liberals, and so has Lucille Collard, Vice President of the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario.

Former RCMP executive Claude Bisson has been tapped by the NDP.

The riding of Ottawa-Vanier is currently without both an MP and an MPP.

Madeleine Meilleur, long time Liberal MPP and attorney general, resigned in June ahead of a cabinet reshuffle.

In August Ottawa-Vanier residents lost their longtime Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger after he died following a 10-month battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gherig's disease. 

Bélanger had won seven consecutive elections after his initial win in a 1995 byelection.