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Canada: Election preview: Many unknowns locally and across Canada as voters head to polls

Here are all the B.C. candidates running in the 2021 federal election

  Here are all the B.C. candidates running in the 2021 federal election So far, some hot button issues in B.C. include the Fairy Creek logging protests, the housing crisis, and calling an election while thousands of people are displaced during one of the province's worst wildfire seasons on record. Meanwhile, a recent poll has revealed growing anger among Canadians about voting during the fourth wave of a pandemic. Although the number of seats in B.C. doesn't rival those in Ontario and Quebec, the province does hold enough influence to make it worth the parties' attention. On Vancouver Island, the Greens hope to maintain their two seats in a region where the NDP dominated last federal election.

After being cooped up at home for much of the past 18 months, at least one reason to leave house has been tossed at Canadians — a call to get out and vote on Sept. 20 to decide the political leadership of our nation.

a sign sitting on the grass:  Election signs from local candidates in Windsor West are seen at the corner of Dominion Boulevard and Northwood Street on Thursday, September 9, 2021. © Provided by Windsor Star Election signs from local candidates in Windsor West are seen at the corner of Dominion Boulevard and Northwood Street on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

The decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to announce a federal election has caught many across the country off guard — particularly with a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic emerging.

Exactly what impact that will have on the ballot box “is the big question,” says University of Windsor political science professor Lydia Miljan, who questions whether the campaigning tainted by protests over the last couple weeks should be a “concern” to Liberals intent on retaining control of government.

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“They have called an election not many people wanted,” she said. “Clearly you can see some outrage and protesting against Trudeau. Whether that will motivate his supporters to turn up in numbers or suppress them, that is something we will only know on election night.

“It is unusual the narrative of ‘why an election?’ does seem to be a ballot box question. I think you are going to see people who have been upset being motivated to express their displeasure, while others might want to hold their nose and vote with the Liberals.”

Windsor and Essex County were under the spotlight across Canada during the last federal campaign in 2019 due to a trio of tight races which resulted in two incumbent NDP MPs — Cheryl Hardcastle in Windsor-Tecumseh and Tracy Ramsey in Essex — going down to defeat in very tight races.

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Absolutely nothing has changed this time around as both Hardcastle and Ramsay are back once again as candidates in a bid to recapture their ridings and return to Ottawa.

a person looking at the camera:  University of Windsor political science Professor Lydia Miljan is seen in a file photo from 2016. © Tyler Brownbridge University of Windsor political science Professor Lydia Miljan is seen in a file photo from 2016.

Irek Kusmierczyk is the incumbent MP for the Liberals in Windsor-Tecumseh, while Conservative MP Chris Lewis now represents Essex.

Hardcastle only lost to Kusmierczyk by roughly 600 votes last election, while Lewis had a bit more of a cushion over Ramsey winning by about 4,500 in Essex.

The local riding of Windsor West will also feature a repeat of yet another high-profile election battle that occurred in 2019 between long-time NDP MP Brian Masse — who has represented the riding since 2002 — and Liberal challenger Sandra Pupatello who represented the riding at the provincial level for 16 years until 2011.

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Masse defeated Pupatello in 2019 by just under 2,000 votes — another tight result. So the eyes of the nation are expected once again to focus on the riding’s outcome on election night.

“In 2019, you had two seats here that flipped,” Miljan said. “There is a also a repeat matchup with Brian and Sandra. All these ridings are in play.”

She believes Pupatello may have the most difficult task among the three to flip the riding this time around given some of the angst across the country being expressed against Trudeau.

“She does have a big hill to climb,” Miljan said. “Brian is also very likeable and even though he has been in opposition has been effective and had some success in getting benefits for constituents.”

Miljan resides in the riding of Essex where she says all signs point to the outcome again be “very competitive” between Lewis and Ramsey.

Hardcastle is expected to make it very tight again against Kuzmierczyk who Miljan listed as having had “some successes” for his riding he can point to during his two years as MP as a member of the Trudeau government.

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In the riding of Chatham-Kent-Leamington, Conservative MP Dave Epp rolled to a somewhat of an easy victory by nearly 9,000 votes in 2019. This time around his toughest challenges are expected to come from Liberal Greg Hetherington and NDP candidate Dan Gelinas.

It also remains to be seen the impact candidates of the People’s Party of Canada led by former Conservative party leadership candidate Maxime Bernier will have locally. The party is running candidates in each of the four ridings in the surrounding area.

The Green Party has candidates in three of the four area ridings with the exception of Windsor West.

“There certainly have been a lot of twists and turns (leading up to and during the campaign),” Miljan said. “As a political watcher they have been fun to watch. It hasn’t followed the normal script.

“It goes to show you can not take the electorate for granted, that people have high expectations from their political leaders they choose to support.”

Related

All campaign information can easily be found on the Elections Canada website at elections.ca including full lists of candidates for every riding. Links to every candidate’s website can also be found on the site, along with voting information, riding maps and past results.

ANALYSIS: How the ‘905’ earns its outsize influence on national politics

  ANALYSIS: How the ‘905’ earns its outsize influence on national politics The 3.8 million people who live in the 30 ridings that form a horseshoe around the city of Toronto are exactly the kind of persuadable voters that can sway Canada's election.Voters in the 30-odd seats in Durham, York, Peel and Halton regions  -- the horseshoe-shaped region that borders Toronto and which has been given the nickname the "905" for the area code many there have --  have mostly picked Liberals in the last two elections and, sure enough, Liberals have formed the government in Ottawa. But when those same voters start electing Conservatives, then Conservatives can usually count on claiming the government benches.

WINDSOR WEST

Matthew Giancola (People’s Party of Canada)

Brian Masse (New Democratic Party)

Anthony Orlando (Conservative Party of Canada)

Sandra Pupatello (Liberal Party of Canada)

Margaret Villamizar (Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada)

2019 results:

Darryl Burrell — People’s Party of Canada, 958 votes, 1.8 per cent of vote.

Quinn Hunt — Green Party of Canada, 1,325, 2.5 per cent of vote.

Henry Lau — Conservative Party of Canada, 9,925, 19.1 per cent of vote.

Brian Masse — New Democratic Party, 20,800, 40.0 per cent of vote.

Sandra Pupatello — Liberal Party of Canada, 18,878, 36.3 per cent of vote.

Margaret Villamizar — Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, 76, 0.1 per cent of vote.

Valid ballots: 51,962.

Area of riding: 83 square kilometres. Population: 122,988. Number of electors on list: 91,666

WINDSOR-TECUMSEH

Kathy Borrelli (Conservative Party of Canada)

Laura Chesnik (Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada)

Victor Green (People’s Party of Canada)

Cheryl Hardcastle (New Democratic Party)

Irek Kusmierczyk (Liberal Party of Canada)

Henry Oulevey (Green Party of Canada)

2019 results:

Giovanni Abati — Green Party of Canada, 2,177, 3.8 per cent of vote.

Dan Burr — People’s Party of Canada, 1,279, 2.2 per cent of vote.

Laura Chesnik — Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, 187, 0.3 per cent of vote.

Leo Demarce — Conservative Party of Canada, 15,851, 27.8 per cent of vote.

Cheryl Hardcastle — New Democratic Party, 18,417, 32.3 per cent of vote.

Irek Kusmierczyk — Liberal Party of Canada, 19,046, 33.4 per cent of vote.

Valid ballots: 56,957

Area of riding: 174 square km. Population: 117,429. Number of electors on list: 93,972.

COMMENTARY: A tarnished Trudeau, Bernier bump or hung Parliament? Shockers and probabilities for election night

  COMMENTARY: A tarnished Trudeau, Bernier bump or hung Parliament? Shockers and probabilities for election night We’re almost certainly getting another minority government come election night, says Randy Boswell, and it may not be immediately clear who will get to become prime minister. That’s right: finishing first in Monday’s vote is not an iron-clad guarantee the top party’s leader will take command of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). However, the threshold for forming a government isn’t complicated. Strike a formal or tacit agreement among 170 MPs to pursue a legislative agenda — from as many parties as it takes — and you get the keys to the kingdom.

ESSEX

Beth Charron-Rowberry (People’s Party of Canada)

Audrey Festeryga (Liberal Party of Canada)

Andrew George (Independent)

Chris Lewis (Conservative Party of Canada)

Jeremy Palko (Christian Heritage Party of Canada)

Nancy Pancheshan (Green Party of Canada)

Tracey Ramsey (New Democratic Party)

2019 results:

Jennifer Alderson — Green Party of Canada, 2,173, 3.2 per cent of vote.

Bill Capes — People’s Party of Canada, 1,251, 1.8 per cent of vote.

Audrey Festeryga — Liberal Party of Canada, 12,987, 19.0 per cent of vote.

Chris Lewis — Conservative Party of Canada, 28,274, 41.4 per cent of vote.

Tracey Ramsey — New Democratic Party, 23,603, 34.6 per cent of vote.

Valid ballots: 68,288.

Area of riding: 1,177 square km. Population: 125,442. Number of electors on list: 104,623.

CHATHAM-KENT-LEAMINGTON

Dave Epp (Conservative Party of Canada)

Dan Gelinas (New Democratic Party)

Greg Hetherington (Liberal Party of Canada)

Liz Vallee (People’s Party of Canada)

Mark Vercouteren (Green Party of Canada)

2019 results:

John Balagtas — People’s Party of Canada, 1,061, 2.0 per cent of vote.

Paul Coulbeck — Marijuana Party, 307, 0.6 per cent of vote.

Dave Epp – Conservative Party of Canada, 25,359, 46.9 per cent of vote.

Katie Omstead — Liberal Party of Canada, 16,899, 31.2 per cent of vote.

Mark Vercouteren — Green Party of Canada, 2,233, 4.1 per cent of vote.

Tony Walsh — New Democratic Party, 8,229, 15.2 per cent of vote.

Valid ballots: 54,088.

Area of riding: 2,183 square km. Population: 109,619. Number of electors on list: 86,190.

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