Canadian MP Bill Graham to step down, Rae seeks his Toronto riding

Friday, February 23, 2007

Liberal MP and former leadership candidate Bill Graham says he will not run for re-election in his riding of Toronto Centre. Graham, 67, made the announcement to the executive of his Toronto riding association Thursday night. File:Bill Graham Chile 2003.jpg

Bill Graham
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Bob Rae, former NDP premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995 and Liberal leadership candidate, will announce his candidancy for the Liberal nomination in the riding in the coming days, according to reports. Toronto lawyer Meredith Cartwright and United Church minister Rob Oliphant are also expected to contest the nomination which will likely be decided in April.

Rae spoke of Graham's experience but made his election intentions secret. Rae does not have a seat in Parliament.

"[Graham] has been a great representative of Toronto Centre ... and a terrific minister. Today is certainly not about speculation, it is about Bill," said Rae. "I shall be making my intentions known in the very near future."

Graham was a lawyer before entering politics and has served in cabinet and as interim Liberal leader in opposition. He has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of National Defence under Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin respectively. In 2006, when the Conservatives took power and Paul Martin stepped down, he was appointed interim leader of the party until Stéphane Dion was elected.