If voters in the new federal riding of Oakville North-Burlington aren’t totally confused, they might be by election day, Oct. 25.
Neither the Conservatives nor Liberals have yet selected a candidate to run in the riding, but already there have been more names bandied about than exist in a telephone book.
What makes matters worse is constituents have experienced no less than three party defections in the last decade, leaving them to wonder whether they’re voting for a Conservative, a Liberal or whatever the person deems is most advantageous at the time!
In August of 2014 Eve Adams, MP for Mississauga- Brampton South, was disqualified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper from seeking the nomination following a bitter battle between her and another candidate Dr. Natalia Lishchyna, who questioned why Adams would try to chance ridings.Lishchyna voluntarily withdrew her name later.
Subsequently, Adams crossed the floor in the House of Commons to join the Liberals and will now face off against Finance Minister Joe Oliver in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence.
Now Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster, who was just re-elected to city council last October, has announced she will seek the Conservative nomination. If she’s successful and also wins the election, Burlington taxpayers could be footing the bill for a by-election, unless city council decides to make an appointment.
At press time Lancaster was in Appeldoorn, The Netherlands, on City business and unavailable for comment.
Nina Tangri, a financial adviser and former vice-chair of the board of Credit Valley Hospital, and Effie Triantafilopoulos, former CEO of Save the Children Canada, have also announced they will be running for the nomination. Both have run unsuccessfully in previous federal and provincial elections in Mississauga.
Pam Damoff, councillor for Ward 2 in Oakville, has announced that she will seek the Liberal nomination. She is the chair of Oakville’s Terry Fox Run and a long-time organizer of the Oakville Santa Claus Parade.
Last fall Max Khan, councillor for Ward 6 in Oakville, won the nomination race to be the Liberal candidate. He then was re-elected to council. But Khan passed away suddenly in March. In the 2011 federal election, Khan ran as the Liberal candidate in the Oakville riding, but was defeated by Conservative Terence Young.
Rebecca Rajcak, an Oakville high school teacher, has been nominated by the NDP. Adnan Shahbaz will run for the Green Party and David Clement for the Libertarians.
The new Oakville North-Burlington riding includes Burlington residents living north of the QEW and south of Hwy. 407 between Walker’s Line and Burloak Drive/Tremaine Road. The new riding also includes residents living east of Guelph Line between Upper Middle Road and Hwy. 407 and almost all of Oakville north of Upper Middle Road. Oakville North—Burlington was created by the 2012 federal electoral boundaries redistribution
The area used to be part of the riding of Halton in which Lisa Raitt, the current Minister of Transportation, won elections for the Conservatives in 2008 and 2011.
Raitt won handily with 54.4 per cent of the vote on the coattails of the Stephen Harper sweep in 2011, but there is the potential for a Liberal victory this time.
Traditionally, young families with liberal views live north of Hwy. 5, while the Conservatives tend to be successful at the polls in the older portions of Burlington and Oakville to the south.
Gary Carr, currently chair of the Region of Halton, won Halton for the Liberals in 2004, and was only narrowly defeated by Conservative Garth Turner in 2006 by a margin of just over 2,000 votes.
Turner then had a falling-out with Harper, crossed the floor and ran for the Liberals in 2008, but lost to Raitt by 7,000 votes.
Ironically, Carr had previously represented the provincial riding of Oakville South for the Progressive Conservatives and served as Speaker of the Ontario Legislature.