Ottawa South riding profile: Liberal stronghold will have impressive challengers

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Quick Facts

Population: 121,058 (2016)


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Median household income: $71,314 (2015)

Median age: 39.1 (2016)

The Riding

As the name implies, Ottawa South captures a large swath of the city’s southeast, stretching from Billings Bridge all the way south to Blossom Park. It winds westward to the Airport-Uplands neighbourhood and runs east to Highway 417. Some of its largest neighbourhoods are Alta Vista, South Keys, Blossom Park, Billings Bridge, Riverside Park, Heron Park, Heron Gate, Elmvale Acres and Hunt Club Estates. The Ottawa International Airport is also located in the riding, as is the country’s Science and Technology Museum.

The Candidates

Liberal: David McGuinty was first elected as an MP in 2004, and has enjoyed solid support through his six campaigns after succeeding John Manley in the post. McGuinty, of course, belongs to something of a local political dynasty. His father, Dalton McGuinty Sr., first wrested the provincial district away from the Conservatives in the 1987 Ontario election, and Ottawa South was the home riding of former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.


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Website: davidmcguinty.ca

Twitter: @DavidMcGuinty

Conservative: Eli Tannis, the son of Lebanese immigrants who built the Tannis Foods business “from the ground up” when they first arrived in Canada, is running again for the Conservatives. He placed second in the 2019 campaign with 25 per cent of the vote. In addition to his work at Tannis Foods, Tannis is the co-founder of the Tannis21 Foundation, which supports community hospitals, research and healthcare facilities, and other charitable organizations. He is also a former president of the Hawthorne Business Park Association.

Website: votetannis.ca

Twitter: @Eli_Tannis

NDP: Relative political newcomer Huda Mukbil, a national security expert with 18 years of senior leadership experience with federal agencies, is running for the NDP. Her family came to Ottawa after fleeing the civil war in Ethiopia. Mukbil studied law and graduated with honours from Carleton University, then worked with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service as an intelligence officer.


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Website: hudamukbil.ca

Twitter: @HudaMukbil

Green Party: Les Schram will once again contend for the Green Party after garnering 3,645 votes (5.5 per cent) in 2019, the party’s best showing in the riding in more than a decade. Schram, who is now retired, worked for over 30 years as a self-employed group benefits broker and consultant. He also previously worked for local services organizations the YCMA, Youth Services Bureau and Roberts Smart Centre, even spending a year as chairman of the Roberts Smart Centre.

Website: ottawasouthgreens.ca

Twitter: @Les4OS

People’s Party: Chylow Hall is running for the People’s Party of Canada.

Twitter: @chylowhallppc

Communist Party of Canada: Larry Wasslen is running for the Communist Party.


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Twitter: @larrywasslen

What to Watch

A solid red Liberal stronghold since it was created as a federal riding in 1988, incumbent MP David McGuinty will be facing some impressive competition in Ottawa South after enjoying a mandate in 2019 with 52 per cent of the vote.

His support topped out at 60 per cent in 2015, when he defeated the closest Conservative challenger by 23,120 votes. That margin shrunk to 18,190 votes in 2019 over Conservative Eli Tannis, who will take another run at unseating McGuinty this September.

Voter engagement has rarely been an issue in the largely suburban riding, where 71 per cent of the 92,753 registered voters turned out on election day last time around.

The NDP are also looking to continue making inroads in the riding after securing 16 per cent of the 2019 vote share with 10,457 votes, or about 3,000 more ballots than the party garnered in 2015.

ALSO: Read other riding profiles for the Ottawa-Gatineau region



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