Recorded conversations released by independent byelection candidate Andrew Olivier – allegedly between himself and Liberal Party insiders Gerry Lougheed Jr. and Pat Sorbara – imply former Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk also sought the Liberal nomination.
The former mayor is referred to several times — by her first name, last name or both — in the conversations Olivier recorded.
It appears Matichuk was on the cusp of announcing her candidacy for the byelection when the party learned Glenn Thibeault wanted to defect from the federal NDP to seek the provincial Liberal nod.
In Olivier's alleged conversation with Lougheed, which Olivier said took place Dec. 11, there were references to Matichuk's intention to run for the Liberals, with the speaker "Gerry" saying she was even ready to announce on Dec. 15.
"To her credit, she was planning to make the announcement on Monday. So, she actually called me, to tell me about the announcement," the speaker said.
Later in the conversation Lougheed said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne had asked if he would call Olivier and Matichuk on her behalf, to inform them about the Liberal's decision to appoint Thibeault for the riding.
“Marianne, between you and I, is a little bit sour grapes,” Lougheed told Olivier.
The next day, Olivier recorded a conversation with a speaker he identifies on the phone as "Pat" and who he says is Pat Sorbara, campaign director and deputy chief of staff to the premier.
“And you know, it feels like while others are getting affected, including Marianne, but you more so by far ... we've also had to tell Marianne. But that's different because she wasn't the last candidate that came within 1,000 (votes),” said "Pat" referring to Olivier's showing in the June provincial election.
In February 2014, Matichuk denied any interest in seeking the Liberal nomination for the June election, but the conversations recorded by Olivier suggest she may have been seeking the byelection nomination. But "Pat" also suggests Matichuk may not have been as interested as Olivier in the job.
“I think you really wanted it more than Marianne,” she said at another point in her recorded conversation with Olivier.