Ottawa Life’s 2019 Election Outlook: Ottawa Carleton – MP Pierre Poilievre’s star still rising
Carleton is a federal electoral district in Ontario, Canada, represented in the House of Commons of Canada from 1867 to 1968 and since 2015. It was represented in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada from 1821 to 1840 and in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1841 until 1866. The original riding was created by the British North America Act of 1867. However, the riding had existed since 1821 in the Parliament of Upper Canada and the Parliament of the Province of Canada. It originally consisted of Carleton County. In 1966, it was redistributed into the new electoral districts of Grenville—Carleton, Lanark and Renfrew, Ottawa Centre, Ottawa West and Ottawa—Carleton. This riding was re-created by the 2012 electoral redistribution from parts of Nepean—Carleton (59%), Carleton—Mississippi Mills (41%) and a small portion of Ottawa South. It was contested in the 2015 federal election. Ethnic groups: 80.9% White, 4.5% Indigenous, 3.0% Arab, 2.7% Chinese, 2.7% South Asian, 2.6% Black. Languages: 78.3% English, 9.3 French, 2.4% Arabic, 1.1% Mandarin. Religions (2011): 76.0% Christian (39.5% Catholic, 10.5% United Church, 10.4% Anglican, 2.4% Presbyterian, 1.5% Christian Orthodox, 1.2% Lutheran, 1.2% Baptist, 9.4% Other) , 2.1% Muslim, 19.8% NoneMedian income: $51,253 (2015) Average income: $62,030 (2015) (Source: Wikipedia)
Ottawa Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre is one of the most effective Opposition MPs in the House of Commons and has proven to be a burr in the saddle for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and every other front bench Minister in the Liberal government. First elected to the House of Commons in 2004 in the riding of Nepean—Carleton, Poilievre was re-elected by larger margins in each of the 2006, 2008 and 2011 elections. In 2015, the riding was re-distributed and Poilievre ran in the new riding of Carleton. He faced stiff opposition from Liberal candidate Chris Rogers who, despite having the 2015 Trudeau wave at his back, could not defeat the popular Poilievre who won the riding with a close but still solid margin of 46.9 per cent of the vote versus Rogers' 43.7 per cent.
Chris Rogers is running against Poilievre again but will find it difficult as Poilievre’s star continues to rise in the region and nationally. Rogers will have to defend the Liberal carbon tax in a riding that is partially rural and has been negatively affected over the past four years by federal taxes on small businesses and cost of living increases for food, energy and fuel. Rogers will also have to explain his support for the carbon tax which has already increased gas by 5 cents a litre in Ottawa and is expected to further increase the price another 12 cents a litre over the next 24 months if the Liberals are re-elected. The Trudeau Liberals have yet to tell Canadians where the carbon tax money is being spent. NDP candidate Kevin Hua is running his campaign on what he refers to as “the climate emergency” and the importance of listening to young people. In 2015, the NDP got 6 per cent of the vote in the riding when they were led by Thomas Mulcair and they had lots of money to run a national campaign. This time round, the party is struggling financially and their leader, Jagmeet Singh, is proving to be a liability. Hua needs to hope Singh can raise his game significantly if he wants to make an impact. Alain Musende is the candidate for the People’s Party of Canada (PPC). The party is untested in the riding and nationally, and appears to be running on an anti-immigration, libertarian platform. Interestingly, before PPC leader Max Bernier quit the Conservatives, one of his demands to Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was that he be named Finance Critic for the party. Scheer chose Pierre Poilievre instead. Enough said.
The Green party candidate is Kars resident Gordon Kubanek, a professional engineer turned high school physics teacher. Kubanek will be looking to surpass the NDP in this election in the same manner that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is trying to do nationally. However, May has already said that a vote for the Green party is a vote for the Liberals because she will support the Liberals regardless, to thwart any chance of a Tory minority government. The same has been said by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
So, it's back to Poilievre who is one of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s closest and most trusted confidants and advisors. He was named Opposition Critic for Finance and National Capital Commission (also referred to as Shadow Minister of Finance) by Scheer after he won the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada in 2017. As part of Scheer’s front bench in the house, along with Michelle Rempel, Lisa Raitt and Candice Bergen, the Conservatives have been one of the most effective Opposition parties in decades and have laid waste to the Trudeau government on everything from their spending and record of financial mismanagement, to ethics breaches, the implementation of the carbon tax and patronage to their friends. It was Poilievre who shone a light on the troubling criminality of SNC-Lavalin and who uncovered the hidden changes to the criminal code that were buried deep in the 2018 omnimous budget bill that were designed to allow SNC-Lavalin to avoid criminal prosecution for serious commercial crimes. The scandal resulted in the resignations of the Attorney General of Canada, the Clerk of the Privy Council, Principle Secretary to the PM, Gerald Butts, and led to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being found guilty of ethics violations for interfering in a criminal prosecution. Besides his effectiveness in Parliament, Poilievre has a reputation for being an exceptionally hardworking, well-informed constituency MP and is generally well respected in the National Capital Region. He has a reputation of accomplishing things locally by working with other levels of government. He is a popular figure in the national Conservative Party and in the caucus. Based on his work in Parliament and in his constituency, Poilievre has earned the right to another term. If Scheer wins, Poilievre will be one of his key ministers — and that will be nothing but good for the riding of Carleton and for Ottawa.
In Part 3 of Ottawa Life's Election Outlook series, we profile Ottawa Carleton candidates Pierre Poilievre, Chris Rodgers, Kevin Hua, Gordon Kubanek and Alain Musende below.
Current MP Pierre Poilievre – Conservative Party
Pierre Poilievre is a former Minister, a five-term Member of Parliament and the Conservative Shadow Minister of Finance. He champions the free market in which everyone gets ahead on merit, not government handouts, and people take ownership of and responsibility for their own destinies. To make room for personal freedom and responsibility, he believes in limiting government. For example, Poilievre led the fight against crippling Liberal tax hikes on small businesses in the fall of 2017. This tax revolt forced the government to set aside some of its most damaging proposals. He is also fighting out-of-control deficit spending and tax increases. More recently, he has demanded the government reveal the true cost to families and businesses of its proposed carbon taxes. The government has so far redacted these costs, in what has become known as the “Carbon Tax Cover-Up”. Poilievre also champions jobs for people with disabilities, introducing a bill that would allow workers on disability assistance to keep more in wages than they lose to claw backs and taxes. Poilievre lives in Eastern Ontario Village of Greely with his wife, Anaida.
Chris Rodgers – Liberal Party
Chris Rodgers is a devoted community leader with a proven record of community involvement, and the Team Trudeau 2019 candidate for Carleton. Born and raised in rural Ontario, Chris has established deep roots in the community, living in Metcalfe with his wife Jenny and their son Cameron. Chris has a unique understanding of Carleton's vibrant and diverse character and will work hard as a Member of Parliament to create good, well-paying jobs and offer real help for families in our community. As an elder at St. Andrew's Church in Kars and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion in Manotick, Chris is an active volunteer who has given countless hours to a variety of organizations and causes including the Salvation Army, Community Living and various community sports teams. Chris is deeply committed and determined to make a real difference for the families and residents of Carleton and will work closely with Justin Trudeau to strengthen our middle class. Chris has been a vocal advocate for strengthening the middle class through initiatives such as the Canada Child Benefit, enhancing the Canada Pension Plan, and investments in infrastructure. Chris's number one priority is to bring a positive and inclusive approach to our community, so we can create new jobs and strengthen our economy together. Our families need a trusted voice in government who will be a champion for a stronger middle class and the priorities of our community, and Chris Rodgers will never stop working hard to build a better future for everyone who calls Carleton our home.
Kevin Hua – NDP Party
Born and raised in Stittsville, Kevin is standing to represent the diverse Carleton riding in Parliament. Like New Democrat Pierre-Luc Dusseault, Canada’s youngest-ever MP, Kevin believes that the voices of young people need to be heard at the highest levels – and that it’s critical for the government to represent all Canadians.
Kevin joins the global movement of youth who are stepping up for action on the climate emergency that threatens future generations and our planet.
Kevin believes in creating real solutions to real problems by listening to the community – from farmers to seniors to students. That’s why he’s standing with Jagmeet Singh and the NDP to fight for bold action on climate change, student debt, affordable housing, and good jobs.
Gordon Kubanek – Green Party
Gordon Kubanek is a professional engineer who earned his Master of Chemical Engineering at McGill University before spending most of his career as a high school physics teacher. He is married, has three daughters and now lives on a hobby farm near Kars in the riding of Carleton, which he has called home for 15 years. He is currently taking care of his bees while he writes books and articles on the environment.
Gordon began his hobby farm after moving from Ottawa and is currently tending crops of garlic and honey. He and his wife are committed to living sustainably and to that end have eliminated fossil fuels from their lives — driving electric cars, heating and cooling with geothermal energy, and having a roof covered in PV panels.
After working as an engineer in the pulp and paper industry in British Columbia in the 1980s, Gordon changed careers and became a physics teacher. His first job was in the United States, then at a private boarding school in Quebec, before settling with the Ottawa Carleton School board. During that time, he obtained training from MIT on the computer simulation methodology underpinning the Club of Rome's 1972 book on why our industrial civilization is unsustainable, called "The Limits to Growth". He used these skills to set up a consulting business and had several contracts with the Department of National Defence.
In 1983, Gordon was in Germany when the Green Party was just starting there and maintained an interest in environmental politics while studying at McGill. However, only when his kids were older did, he rejoin the Greens; first helping local federal candidates while on the local riding association, and then as a four-time Green Party of Ontario candidate in Carleton. Gordon's main environmental work is with the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome, an environmental think tank, where he is on the Board of Directors.
Gordon attends the local Anglican Church and is a Third Order Franciscan — inspired by the fact that St. Francis was the first European to consider all of creation in his prayers and thoughts for care and consideration. As Gordon and his wife both hale from Quebec, they are bilingual and get to practice their French at their cottage north of the Laurentians. Beekeeping and writing are Gordon's passions and they keep him fully engaged in this beautiful world.
Alain Musende – People’s Party of Canada
Dr. Alain Musende is a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa where he teaches biopharmaceutical science courses. He is currently on a necessary leave of absence from his full-time position as the Manager at the Marketed Health Products Directorate, with Health Canada in order to allow him to run as the PPC candidate in the Carleton riding.
Alain has more than 19 years of professional experience at the management level in the pharmaceutical industry and with the federal government. He possesses a B.Sc. in chemistry from the Université du Québec à Montréal, a M.Sc. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of British Columbia (UBC), and a Ph.D in experimental pathology also from UBC.
His academic journey started when he left his native, French speaking Democratic Republic of Congo upon high school graduation, earning a scholarship to study petrochemical engineering in China…in Chinese! After living in Beijing for 1 year and in Shanghai for 2 years, he moved to Canada to study chemistry. As a foreign student, he was obliged to pay international tuition fees, which were six times what Canadian students paid. Following the unexpected death of his father 6 months after Alain arrived in Canada, he was no longer able to count on financial support from his family in the Congo. Instead, Mr. Musende owed his academic survival to grueling but financially rewarding seasonal tree planting jobs in northern Ontario and British Columbia.
Professor Musende is highly respected by his students, many of whom regard him as their mentor and inspiration. When reflecting on his academic and professional accomplishments, he is overwhelmed by his immense gratitude to Canada as an exceptional and welcoming country. He is justifiably proud that his life journey, and that of his family, represent another Canadian immigrant success story!
Professor Musende is a well-rounded and well-travelled individual. When he is not passionately discussing science or politics, Alain enjoys a variety of activities, including spiritual growth and healthy eating / living. Dr. Musende lives in Greely with his wife and his son and three daughters, all of whom are enrolled in University courses.
He is fluently bilingual in English and French, in addition to two African languages, and maintains conversational proficiency of Mandarin Chinese.