The man who defeated Eve Adams: Who is Marco Mendicino?
During the battle for the Liberal nomination in Eglinton-Lawrence, much of the focus was on candidate Eve Adams, a former Conservative MP. But who is the candidate who defeated the Tory defector?
Marco Mendicino is a Toronto lawyer and co-owner of Ellis Mendicino, a boutique law firm focusing on professional regulation, labour, and employment and criminal law. He is also an adjunct professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
According to Mendicino’s candidacy website, he has been a “dedicated Liberal” for years, volunteering on several provincial and federal campaigns for the party. He also served as the legal counsel on Ontario Liberal MPP Mike Colle’s campaign in the spring 2014 provincial election.
And Mendicino’s been a member of the Eglinton-Lawrence riding association executive, giving him a leg up on opponent Adams, who ran in Mississauga-Brampton South in the 2011 election.
Mendicino has an extensive legal career. He worked as a federal prosecutor for nearly 10 years, during which time her prosecuted the ‘Toronto 18’ terror group. He has also worked at the Law Society of Upper Canada and served as the president of the Association of Justice Council, an organization representing some 3,000 federal prosecutors and government lawyers. Finally, Mendicino has testified before the House of Commons and Senate on organized crime laws and access to justice.
A self-professed family man, Mendicino is a father of two girls -- Michaela and Gemma-- and husband to Diana. He also volunteers with the John Wanless Childcare Centre in Toronto, the North Toronto Soccer Club, the Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee, and Heart and Stroke Canada, among other organizations.
Mendicino received endorsements from a number of prominent Liberals and local politicians, including former Liberal leader Bob Rae, Colle and Liberal MP Judy Sgro.
Medicino’s rival Adams shocked Ottawa in February when she left the Conservative Party after a contentious Tory nomination battle when her existing riding was split. She crossed the floor to the Liberals. Adams is engaged to Dimitri Soudas, a former spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a controversial player in Canadian political circles.
Sunday’s vote was contentious, as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s decision to welcome Adams to the party has angered some members.
Speaking to Liberals in Toronto Sunday, Adams was interrupted by a heckler who urged her to withdraw from the race.
"I urge you today for the sake of the party, if you love the Liberal party, please withdraw," the man said.
Adams ignored him.
Adams mention met with boos
In his victory speech Sunday night, Mendicino thanked his supporters and gave a brief shout out to Adams, which was met with booing.
“I want to pay a special tribute to my companion in this race, Eve Adams,” said Mendicino, as the crowd booed. “There’s no booing for Eve. Eve ran a tremendous campaign and she kept working until the very end.”
Mendicino saluted Adams’ “tremendous courage” in crossing the House of Commons floor to join the Liberals.
Mendicino will represent the party in this fall’s federal election, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 19. He warned Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who currently holds the seat, to get ready for a tough race.
“Joe, enjoy your sleep tonight because tomorrow we’re coming after you.”
With files from the Canadian Press