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In First-Past-the-Post, some ridings have more riding on them than others. Below are some of the ridings we think are the most contentious, and interesting of this Ontario election.

 

EtobicokeEtobicoke-Lakeshore: After the 2013 resignation of Liberal MPP Laurel Broten, former Toronto deputy mayor Doug Holyday (PC), Rob Ford’s former sidekick, beat Toronto city councillor Peter Milczyn (Liberal) in the by-election that followed by a slim 1500 vote margin. This one should be a tight race, with both candidates taking another crack at it.

Projection: Toss-up (Liberal/PC)

Candidate List:

New Democratic P. C. Choo
Progressive Conservative Doug Holyday
Liberal Peter Milczyn
Green Angela Salewsky
Socialist Natalie Lochwin
Ontario Moderate Party Ian Lytvyn
Freedom Jeff Merklinger
Libertarian Mark Wrzesniewski

 

Scarborough-Rouge River: 89% of people in Scarborough-Rouge River identify as visible minorities (according to the 2011 census), which is easily the highest percentage of any riding in the province.All three major candidates are visible minorities, which could either be a natural result of the riding’s demographics, or a ploy by the parties to appeal to voters. The incumbent MPP is Bas Balkissoon (Liberal), a Trinidad-born former city councilor of Indian descent, who in 2011 slimly managed to beat Neethan Shan (NDP), a Tamil-Canadian. The PC candidate for the riding is Toronto city-councilor Raymond Cho, a Korean-Canadian, who also stands a chance here. No matter who wins here, looking at riding politics is always interesting.

Projection: Leans Liberal

Candidate List:

Liberal Bas Balkissoon
Progressive Conservative Raymond Cho

New Democratic
Neethan Shan
Green George B. Singh
None of the Above Amir Khan

 

peterboroughPeterborough: In a political climate where rural Ontario sits in the calloused palms of Tim Hudak, the Liberals will pull out all the stops to hang on to their one last agrarian riding. Peterborough is currently held by Minister of Rural Affairs Jeff Leal (Liberal) and this week he faces off against Scott Stewart (PC), a local travel group president. Since he’s their only rural MPP, it’s no surprise that Leal is the Minister of Rural Affairs. The Conservatives were in power here as recently as 1999, so this could definitely go either way. Interesting fact: Peterborough has elected the governing party every election since 1987, and is pretty representative of how the electorate is feeling. Take Peterborough, take the province?

Projection: Leans Liberal

Candidate List:


Liberal
Jeff Leal
Progressive Conservative Scott Stewart
New Democratic Sheila Wood
Green Gary Beamish
Pauper Gerard Faux
Freedom Wayne Matheson
Socialist Andrea Quiano
Independent Brian Martindale

 

Ottawa WestOttawa West-Nepean: Three big candidates face off here- The incumbent, Minister of Energy and former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli (Liberal), Ottawa Citizen columnist Randall Denley (PC) who ran against Chiarelli last election (in 2011 he lost by a mere 1009 votes), and Ottawa councillor Alex Cullen (NDP). Take two municipal co-workers and throw in a powerful media personality, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a brutally personal battle royale. Somebody’s house is getting egged.

Projection: Leans PC

Candidate List:

Liberal Bob Chiarelli
New Democratic Alex Cullen
Progressive Conservative Randall Denley

Green
Alex Hill

Libertarian
Matthew Brooks

 

KitchenerKitchener-Waterloo: Since 1990, Elizabeth Witmer (PC) held office as the MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo; that is until 2012 when she resigned from the post in response to her husband being diagnosed with cancer. In a surprising turn, Catherine Fife took power for the NDP in the subsequent by-election, after twenty-two years of PC domination in the riding. As far as by-elections go, they usually don’t accurately represent the political will of the riding; rather, they illustrate which party cared enough to spend money on the campaign. Thus the PC has a great chance of re-gaining control here, and this is one the Conservatives have focused quite a bit of attention on.

Projection: Toss-up (PC/NDP)

Candidate List:

Liberal Jamie Burton
New Democratic Catherine Fife
Progressive Conservative Tracey Weiler

Green
Stacey Danckert

Libertarian
James Schulz

 

NiagaraNiagara Falls: In the same vein as the Kitchener-Waterloo riding, Niagara Falls was seized by the NDP in a by-election this year after Liberal MPP Kim Craitor resigned citing mental exhaustion. In that by-election which took place in February, the Conservatives trailed by less than 1400 votes. It’s anybody’s race as all the candidates are experienced veterans, and really only time will tell who’s gonna take control of Ontario’s hydro-electric/gambling/haunted-house epicenter.

Projection: Wildcard (PC/NDP/Liberal)

Candidate List:

New Democratic Wayne Gates
Progressive Conservative Bart Maves
Liberal Lionel Tupman
Green Clarke Bitter

Libertarian
Ralph Panucci
None of the Above John Ringo Beam

 

MississaugaMississauga South: Another major race to watch, as one of the cancelled gas plants that has stirred up so much controversy lies just outside the Mississauga South riding boundary. On June 5, at the riding debate, the incumbent Liberal MPP and Minister of Finance Charles Sousa was blasted for his party’s condemned actions. Many jobs in the district were lost to the gas plant cancellation. Despite the tension, polls suggest that the Liberals are still frontrunners in the riding, adding to the pile of existing evidence that no one cares about scandals that aren’t related to sex and/or drugs. Actually, they don’t really care about those that much either.

Projection: Lean Liberal

Candidate List:


New Democratic
Boris Rosolak
Liberal Charles Sousa
Progressive Conservative Effie Triantafilopoulos
Green Lloyd Jones
Libertarian James Judson
None of the Above Andrew Weber

 

All images courtesy of Elections Ontario

 

 

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