A by-election has been called for the Ontario federal electoral district of Mississauga-Lakeshore. What makes it of broader interest, is that it is a typical Ontario riding that would be a must have for the conservative’s new leader if he ever expects to get close to being prime minister. This will be the first by-election for Pierre Poilievre as conservative leader and is a fair test of his potential.
The riding, both provincial and federal has bounced back and forth between the conservatives and liberals since being created in 1979. It was conservative Don Blenkarn’s federal riding through the 1980s to the conservative debacle in 1993. I always enjoyed a chat with Don when I bumped into him in Ottawa. He was his own man and he had a winning personality.
Mind you, I also like the liberal who is contesting this by-election. Charles Sousa was the provincial MPP for Mississauga-South and served as finance minister in the Kathleen Wynne liberal government. He brought a lot of experience in banking and empathy for the voters to the position. He and his family live in the Clarkson area of the riding.
Sven Spengemann, the liberal MP for the riding, stepped down in May this year to accept an appointment with the United Nations. The conservative candidate is a former Peel County policeman, Ron Chhinzer. The NDP candidate is Julia Kole, who previously ran for the provincial seat.
Mississauga-Lakeshore takes in the older part of the City of Mississauga between the Queen Elizabeth Way and Lake Ontario. It is an area of well-established communities ranging from middle class to some more affluent.
The riding population is predominantly European in origin but with a steady growth in the number of thriving newcomers to Canada. It has many of the characteristics of the more affluent suburban ridings across Southern Ontario.
The most critical need in by-elections is communicating with the voters and impressing them with the importance of voting. It is also a time for testing new ideas in campaigning.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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