Former Toronto Dominion Securities Inc. chief economist and banking world celebrity Paul Summerville wants to run for the provincial New Democrats, Public Eye has learned. Mr. Summerville, who most recently worked as the managing director and regional head Asia-Pacific for Toronto Dominion Securities, could give party leader Carole James a powerful counter to accusations she has been bought and is controlled by big labour. But so far, according to insiders, the New Democrats haven't exactly rolled out the red-carpet for him.
To win a nomination, Mr. Summerville (who lives in Victoria) will need to run uncontested. After all, the New Democrat rank and file has a bad history of voting against outsiders just because they're outsiders, preferring candidates to have some kind of genetic connection to party founder Tommy Douglas.
Ridings under consideration for Mr. Summerville include Malahat-Juan de Fuca, Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Saanich South. But each of those ridings already has a number of declared or almost-declared nomination candidates, some with a high-profile. And, according to the rumour mill, although party leaders claim to be enthusiastic about having a running dog capitalist on their campaign team, none of those candidates has been asked to step aside for Mr. Summerville. That would be consistent with Ms. James' current Prime Directive (i.e. non-interference) attitude toward local nomination battles.