07/16/2014 03:07 EDT | Updated 09/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Race To Fill Jim Flaherty's Seat Gets Underway In Whitby-Oshawa

Bloomberg via Getty Images
James 'Jim' Flaherty, Canada's finance minister, smiles while speaking during a press conference after releasing the 2014 Federal Budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. Flaherty ramped up efforts to return the country to surplus in a budget that raises taxes on cigarettes and cuts benefits to retired government workers while providing more aid for carmakers. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The race to fill the seat left vacant after the death of former Conservative MP and finance minister Jim Flaherty is about to get its first official contender.

On Thursday night, local Liberals will acclaim businesswoman Celina Caesar-Chavannes as candidate-in-waiting for the still undeclared byelection in Whitby-Oshawa.

According to her official biography, Caesar-Chavannes, a mother of three, is the president of ReSolve Research Solutions Inc., a clinical trials management service she co-founded with her husband in 2004.

She also sits on the advisory board of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction.

"We're doing nomination meetings for the general election because we want candidates on the ground, and it's the same process here," Liberal Party spokesman Olivier Duchesneau told CBC News.

"There's a deadline for the byelection, and we need to be ready."

The Liberals aren't the only ones laying the groundwork for an eventual byelection battle in Whitby-Oshawa.

NDP spokesman George Soule told CBC News that a nomination meeting will take place within the next few weeks.

"Notice is being sent to members in the riding," he said.

Neither the Conservative Party nor the local Whitby–Oshawa riding association responded to queries about the status of the Conservative nomination process.

Under parliamentary rules, the byelection must be called by Oct. 25, although the law doesn't set a deadline on when the vote must held.

Nomination process chronicled

Caesar-Chavannes may be the only candidate on the Liberal ballot, but a quick scroll through the entries on her Facebook campaign page suggests she was fully prepared to fight for the right to carry the party's banner in the still undeclared race.

On April 29, she posted a shot of an envelope addressed to the "Greenlight Committee Chair" at party headquarters in Ottawa with the caption "Finally finished! Thank you everyone for the constant support."

"Had my first committee meeting tonight," she wrote on May 4. "Happy with how everything went."

A few days later, on May 9, she reported that she had completed her greenlight committee interview.

"It went well. Now I have to wait 1-2 weeks until I receive the letter of approval from the Party," she advised supporters. "Fingers-crossed."

By May 21, she still hadn't heard back from the party, but on Monday, she announced the nomination meeting would take place on Thursday.

"It appears that mine will be an uncontested nomination and I will be acclaimed," she wrote.

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