Toronto

Van Loan mulling bid for Ontario PC leadership: sources

Federal Public Safety Minister Peter van Loan is considering a run at the top job in the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, CBC News has learned.

Federal Public Safety Minister Peter van Loan is considering a run at the top job in the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, CBC News has learned.

Federal Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan is seen here in the House of Commons in Ottawa earlier this year. ((Canadian Press))

Sources said Van Loan is talking to party members, trying to measure his support in the wake of John Tory's decision to step down once a successor is in place.

Tory announced he was resigning as leader last week after losing a byelection race in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.

A leadership convention is set for June 30.

Van Loan is a former president of the federal Progressive Conservative party and the current member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of York-Simcoe.

In 2007, Van Loan was rebuked by Liberal critics for calling Dalton McGuinty a "small man of Confederation" for the Ontario premier's criticism of a Tory plan to redistribute federal seats.

Several names have emerged as possible leadership candidates, including MPPs Tim Hudak, Elizabeth Witmer, Frank Klees and Christine Elliott, the wife of federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Flaherty, who finished second to Tory in the 2004 provincial PC leadership race, ruled himself out of the running, as did MPP Peter Shurman.

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