Four federal byelections announced

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on April 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

OTTAWA - Liberals angry at Justin Trudeau's meddling in Toronto's Trinity-Spadina riding will get their chance in a June 30 byelection to cast judgment on the Liberal leader's broken promise not to interfere in the nomination process.

Trudeau's pledge of openness to choose candidates to run under the Grit banner was shattered when the leader of the newly decreed pro-choice party blocked Christine Innes' candidacy because of infighting.

Trudeau's decision to run roughshod has left many Liberals questioning the top-down, heavy-handed tactics deployed by him and his inner circle.

It has also exposed the same old wounds and divisions in a party that has a history of eating its own and has left Trudeau and his Ontario campaign co-chair, David McNaughton, facing a $1.5 million lawsuit. Innes claims in court documents she was slandered.

The downtown riding became vacant when NDP MP Olivia Chow resigned to run for Toronto mayor. She won the seat in 2006 by less than 4,000 votes, defeating Liberal MP Tony Ianno, who is married to Innes.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Sunday that byelections will be held in Trinity-Spadina and three other ridings - another in Ontario and two in Alberta.

The others are Scarborough-Agincourt to replace Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, who stepped down to run for Toronto city council, Fort McMurray-Athabasca, vacated by the resignation of Tory MP Brian Jean, and Macleod, which opened up when Conservative MP Ted Menzies quit.

Harper opted not to call a fifth byelection to fill the Whitby-Oshawa void left by the death last month of former finance minister Jim Flaherty. The prime minister has six months to call a byelection after a seat is vacated.


Videos

Photos