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August 27th, 2015
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As we head into Labour Day weekend, the three main parties are within eyeshot of completing their national 338-seat slates, as is the Bloc Québécois in la belle province. The NDP leads the pack with 326 or 96% of their candidates selected, with the Liberals just behind at 322 or 95%, and the Conservatives close behind at 319 or 94%. The Bloc Québécois has by my count 70 candidates on the books or 90% of the 78 ridings in that province.
[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!]
The Greens are more than 100 candidates behind (231 of 338), and will have to nominate over 3 candidates per day between now and the nominations deadline of Monday, September 28 to meet party leader Elizabeth May's commitment to run a full slate on October 19. Typically in previous election cycles, they have completed most of their slate in the final weeks before the deadline, however, so that's not an unfamiliar position for that party.
Nominations Progress by Party and Province, as of Aug 26, 2015
The NDP has filled its slates in Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, all 121 seats in Ontario (the first party to do so), Saskatchewan, and the three territories north of 60. It also has four scheduled nomination meetings scheduled before month's end: the announcement of star candidate Monika Dutt (co-chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare)
tonight next Thursday in Sydney-Victoria, NS; two other 2-way contested nomination meetings tonight in Tobique-Mactacquac, NB and Lévis—Lotbinière, QC, and another 2-way nomination contest in Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB on Sunday.
That leaves the NDP with 8 holes to fill:
- Kings-Hants, NS – where nominated candidate Morgan Wheeldon "got quit" after some remarks on Facebook were highlighted on a Conservative Party opposition research micro-website. The EDA president resigned, and the other nomination contestant refused to run in Wheeldon's stead, as party supporters in the area continue to believe Wheeldon worthy of support. The party will have to resolve this situation before leader Tom Mulcair arrives to campaign in Halifax this weekend.
- Portage-Lisgar, MB – a traditionally safe rural Conservative seat in Manitoba
- St. Boniface-St. Vital, MB – where a poll was reportedly in the field testing former provincial health minister (and gang of five member) Erin Selby's name as the NDP candidate
- Winnipeg South, MB – a suburban seat, about which I've heard no chatter whatsoever
- Grande Prairie-Mackenzie, AB – a northern seat where Conservative MP Chris Warkentin is running for re-election
- Battle River-Crowfoot, AB – a traditionally safe rural Conservative seat in eastern Alberta
- Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, BC – a traditionally safe rural Conservative seat in northeastern British Columbia
- Outremont, QC – leader Tom Mulcair's seat, where it seems safe to say the party is planning a tour event around his nomination
For the Liberals' part, they have filled their slates in all four Atlantic provinces, Manitoba, and the three northern territories, and they have a 2-way contested nomination tonight in the Laval riding of Vimy, QC and an acclamation scheduled for Andy Kowalski in Grande Prairie-Mackenzie, AB the same evening.
This leaves the Liberals with 11 holes to fill:
- Jonquière, QC and Lac-Saint-Jean, QC – both in the historically sovereignist-leaning Saguenay region
- Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC – though the party expects to be able to schedule a meeting there by the end of the week
- Oxford, ON – a rural seat in southwest Ontario which is nearly always that party's last or second-last seat to fill in the province
- Three rural ridings in Saskatchewan – Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek, Souris-Moose Mountain, and Yorkton-Melville
- Calgary-Nose Hill, AB – where the party has yet to replace its young candidate Ala Buzreba who stepped down after a number of three-year old Tweets were brought to light by her opponents
- St. Albert-Edmonton, AB – an Edmonton suburb where the EDA president stepped down to endorse the NDP, and other activists are said to be quietly supporting Independent MP Brent Rathgeber's re-election
- Red Deer-Mountain View, AB – no meeting or details available
- Three other rural ridings in Alberta – Battle River-Crowfoot, Bow River, and Sturgeon River-Parkland
- Abbotsford, BC – the growing Vancouver suburb which was once considered the socially conservative enclave of Dutch
OrthodoxReform [thanks to the commenter below for this significant correction] religious adherents and retired military families, but is now an increasingly ethnically diverse ex-urban community
The Conservatives are full in PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and all three northern territories, and they have their final BC candidate being selected in a 3-way contested nomination on Saturday in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.
That leaves the governing Conservatives with 18 holes to fill as follows:
- UPDATE: Nickel Belt, ON – the working class northern rural seat around Sudbury, which will complete their Ontario slate. Nominations were to have closed last Friday according to the local papers.
- Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB – the remote northern seat that is often their last to be filled in the province
- 10 of the 78 seats in Québec, including: two in east Montréal (Hochelaga and Rosemont-La Petite Patrie), four in western and northwestern Quebec (Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Hull-Aylmer, Mirabel, and Rivière-du-Nord), two on the north shore (Berthier—Maskinongé, and Repentigny), one on the south shore (the Bloc-held Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel), and one on the Gaspé peninsula (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia)
- 6 of the 7 seats in Newfoundland and Labrador – and here is where the disqualification of John Crosbie's son Ches Crosbie is having serious repercussions for the party's ability to find candidates willing to run for them. Outgoing PC MHA Kevin O'Brien is nominated in the rural seat of Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, but apart from him the party does not seem to have any other prospects in the easternmost province, and may be reduced to appointing candidates soon to fill their slate there.
The Bloc Québécois held nomination meetings for its first 40 candidates, mainly organized under the auspices of former leader Mario Beaulieu, and then froze nominations until incoming leader Gilles Duceppe could pick his own seat and consider other candidates. Then, once the election was called, the party opted to proceed by appointment. As of today 68 candidates are listed on their website, but I'm aware of at least one more that's previously been identified, and of course leader Gilles Duceppe has already been confirmed as the candidate in Laurier-Ste. Marie.
The Green Party has been putting out a few fires where candidates were either nominated on a mandate to drop out and support the [UPDATE:] Liberals or NDP (Kelowna-Lake Country, BC and Peterborough-Kawartha, ON respectively), or resigned to run for the NDP themselves (Red Deer-Mountain View, AB – although Evan Bedford subsequently withdrew from that contest to back successful NDP nomination contestant Paul Harris). Party leader Elizabeth May has said as recently as yesterday that such decisions were in the hands of the local constituencies, but not everyone in the party's governance structure agrees with that position, and the situation has yet to be resolved.
We'll cover the smaller parties' slates in a subsequent post.