A veteran Hamilton councillor is looking for a new job, even though he just got his old job back. Ward seven councillor Scott Duvall has decided to seek the federal NDP nomination for Hamilton Mountain just weeks after he was re-elected.
Scott Duvall says we can’t afford another four years of Stephen Harper. And that’s why he’s ready to quit his job as a Hamilton city councillor and take aim at Ottawa.
It was just ten weeks ago that Ward 7 councillor Scott Duvall was re-elected to represent 60-thousand constituents for a third term. But things change:
Scott Duvall: “Today, I am officially declaring my intention to run for the nomination for the federal candidacy for Hamilton Mountain NDP.”
In early December, just weeks after the municipal election, Federal MP Chris Charlton surprised almost everyone, when she announced that she was stepping down from her Hamilton Mountain riding. That opened the door for new contenders including Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla, who was apparently asked to run. This afternoon however, Merulla said: “My head analyzed the opportunity, but my heart will always be in East Hamilton. I wish Scott all the best.”
It’s apparently a position that Charlton applauds as she Tweeted out today: “Good on Sam Merulla for living up to his municipal election commitment.”
Something that Duvall brushed off: “That’s a tweet, and I’ll certainly be talking to Chris about that.”
If Duvall actually won the federal seat — city council would have to decide whether to fill his Ward 7 spot with an appointment, or a by-election. A by-election would require Council to set a nomination deadline within 60 days, and a vote 45 days after that. And if Duvall lost the federal campaign — he would automatically go back to his seat on city council.
The cost? Roughly 85-thousand dollars.
Duvall denies that he’s abandoning the voters that supported him just a few weeks ago: “it’s those same people that I represent and have voted for me, that are the same ones that are encouraging me to move forward.”
But do Hamilton Mountain residents feel the same way?
“It would be like anybody else holding a professional position in the private sector who, for purposes of their own, whether it be to elevate themselves for their own career or to just change jobs completely.”
So, why would it be wrong?
“Because he was just re-elected and you would think he was going to stick around for a little while.”
“Yeah, it doesn’t seem right, using it as a stepping stone before he even showed his colours.”
As Duvall pointed out this afternoon, he’s not going anywhere yet. He still has to win the NDP nomination battle and then a federal election campaign, before he’d resign his ward seven council seat.
But since he would automatically return to council if he was defeated on the federal stage, Duvall really has nothing to lose by jumping into the race.