TORONTO — Postmedia Chair Rod Phillips announced plans Thursday to seek the Progressive Conservative nomination in the new riding of Ajax.
Should he win the nomination, Phillips would be yet another high-profile, star candidate for party leader Patrick Brown, who’s already brought Caroline Mulroney on board to run in the riding of York-Simcoe.
In a statement Thursday, Phillips said that he looks forward to being part of the Ontario PC team and its “positive, inclusive and responsible vision” for the province under Brown’s leadership.
A key focus would be on improving the commute for Ajax residents, he said.
“Ajax has been left behind by Premier (Kathleen) Wynne and her government,” Phillips said. “High electricity costs are a burden on families and businesses and discourage new investments from being made here. Commuters are spending more and more time trying to get to and from their jobs and that means less time with family.”
Provincial parties at Queen’s Park are currently pulling together their teams for what promises to be a hard-fought and contentious election campaign following 14 years of Liberal rule.
Although it’s early days, polling shows Brown’s PC’s out in front of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.
Ridings such as Ajax will be critical to electoral success in next June’s provincial election because the party that has claimed the suburbs around Toronto in the past has gone on to form the government.
Phillips would bring a wealth of political, government and business experience to Brown’s PC team.
He served as the chief of staff to former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman and in the same role to former PC labour minister Elizabeth Witmer. He was president and CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. and president and CEO of workplace health and productivity giant Shepell.fgi, now Morneau Shepell.
In addition, Phillips is currently chair of CivicAction Toronto, which brings together business and community leaders to address challenges facing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Global Head of Afiniti, an international artificial intelligence company, and chair of the Telus Toronto Community Board.
He also sits on the board of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Phillips is most recently best known as chair of Postmedia, the largest chain of newspapers and digital media products in the country, including the Toronto Sun and the National Post.
This article orginally appeared in the Toronto Sun on November 2, 2017. Click here to read the original article.