TORONTO — Things to know about the Eglinton–Lawrence riding:
Worth watching: The crucial Toronto battleground pits rival economic experts against each other. Conservative Joe Oliver, who won the former Liberal stronghold four years ago, is the federal finance minister. The NDP has nominated Andrew Thomson, a former Saskatchewan finance minister who aims to bolster his party's economic credentials. The Liberals are running lawyer Marco Mendicino, who defeated former Conservative Eve Adams, who crossed the floor to the Liberals in February.
Main challengers: As Saskatchewan finance minister, Thomson made his name by cutting the sales tax, capital taxes, and corporate income taxes in 2006 while still posting a budget surplus. He will try parlay that success against Oliver's record in the federal post. The Liberals' Mendicino worked as a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade and now runs a law practice that focuses on regulatory and labour matters, according to his campaign website.
Election history: The Liberals held Eglinton–Lawrence from its creation in 1979 until Oliver wrestled it away in 2011 for the Conservatives, defeating former MP Joe Volpe in the process. Oliver's breakthrough, however, was not an easy ride. He lost in his first attempt in 2008, when Volpe edged him by about 2,000 votes. Four years later, Oliver beat Volpe, who had held the seat since 1988, by some 4,000 votes.
Fun Fact: The area has a historical connection to finance ministers. The former riding of Eglinton, which was later redrawn to create Eglinton-Lawrence, was represented for 15 years by Mitchell Sharp, a Liberal finance minister from 1965 to 1968 in Lester Pearson's cabinet.
The Canadian Press