The former MPP for Ottawa Centre says he's going to seek the federal Liberal nomination in the downtown riding now that incumbent Catherine McKenna has announced her decision not to run for re-election.
Yasir Naqvi told CBC that he was surprised and "actually quite sad" to hear the news Sunday evening that McKenna was stepping away from politics, but said he's "received tremendous support from the local community, urging me to consider running."
Naqvi was unequivocal on Wednesday: "I intend to seek the nomination for the federal Liberal party in Ottawa Centre."
His intention to throw his hat into the ring could set up an interesting nomination race in Ottawa Centre. Now that the riding is open, there's rampant speculation that former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney would move in to become the Liberal candidate in the riding that includes Parliament Hill.
Carney has not said whether he will seek to become a Liberal candidate for the next election, expected to be called soon, and could not immediately be reached for comment.
Asked about Carney's possible entry into the race, Naqvi said he respects Carney for his service to Canada, but the former provincial politician was quick to point out that — unlike the former financier — he already has experience at the local level.
"I know our neighbourhoods, I have the community connections and I have a track record of delivering the results for the community and for the city of Ottawa," he said
Naqvi was a Liberal MPP for 11 years and held several cabinet positions, including attorney general. He lost his seat to the NDP's Joel Harden in the 2018 provincial election.
The Liberal Party hasn't yet announced a date for the nomination, and has not responded to a request from CBC for more information.
New Democrats Lyra Evans and Angella MacEwen will vie for their party's nomination in Ottawa Centre at a meeting set for July 17. Angela Keller-Herzog is the Green candidate. There is no information available about the nomination for the Conservative candidate.