Collingwood Mayor Brian Saunderson will be taking an unpaid leave of absence starting April 20 to kick off his campaign to run for MPP of Simcoe-Grey as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the 2022 provincial election.
“I will be stepping away from the mayor’s chair during the campaign. My last meeting will be on April 19,” Saunderson told councillors at the end of their March 28 meeting.
He said the leave would be temporary, pending the results of the election.
Deputy Mayor Keith Hull will become the acting mayor, while Coun. Mariane McLeod will become acting deputy mayor.
Saunderson was appointed as the Progressive Conservative candidate due to a recommendation by Premier Doug Ford, rather than by a vote of the local party membership back in June, a move that was criticized by the local party membership and his opponent Stella Ambler.
The nomination race in Simcoe-Grey opened in the fall of 2020. Current Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson announced he would not be running again. He has been the local MPP since 1990, and except for the last couple of years, he has been part of the Progressive Conservative caucus. Since 2018 he has been sitting as an independent MPP.
The provincial election is slated for June 2, 2022.