Return candidates: former MPs hope to return to parliament

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Passion, public service or wealthy work – call it what you want, parliamentary work is one of the most exclusive in Canada and a key role in this country’s democratic system.

There have been thousands of Members of Parliament in Canadian history (just over 4,500, according to the Library of Parliament) and many spend their terms (or two, if they’re lucky) in Ottawa without incident, performing their usual duties. Eventually, most will lose their seats rather than choosing their departure time.

Then some of them will try to win them back – like at least 27 former MPs who are running again this election in an attempt to return to the House of Commons.

“Yes, I’m coming back. I’m coming back because of the passion, ”said Alupa Clarke, Conservative candidate for Beauport – Limoilou.

Conservative MPs Glen Motz, left, Pierre Paul-Hus, center, and Alupa Clarke address staff ahead of a meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in Ottawa in 2019 to discuss their request for a study on Desjardins Group data breach. (Justin Tang / The Canadian Press)

“In my case, it is not a question of circumstances. It is not a question of problems per se, although, yes, problems motivate me … Nothing else interests me in my life. that politics – and, of course, my wife and kids, ”he said.

Clarke’s situation is abnormal when it comes to the overall category of returning MPs, of which there are at least a handful in every election.

I was born to be a member of Parliament– Alupa Clarke, conservative candidate in Beauport – Limoilou

He has spent virtually no time outside the political arena, first helping Conservative leader Erin O’Toole build her 2020 Quebec leadership campaign – a key factor in O’s eventual victory. ‘Toole – then serving as an advisor.

But while Clarke is committed to the conservative cause, his race is also deeply personal, he said. There was never really any doubt he would attempt a comeback, he said, as he always believed it was the best way to serve audiences.

“I was born to be an MP. And I’m not saying that to be arrogant, I’m not saying that to be exaggerated. I’m just telling you the truth,” he said.

There are only a few other Conservative members who are trying their luck again this time around. Most are former NDP or Liberal MPs.

Travel is part of the job: Boissonnault

Returning candidates come from across the country, including Randy Boissonnault, who is running again for the Liberals in Edmonton Center, the riding he occupied from 2015 to 2019.

Boissonault presented his choice to represent himself as “a source of much thought”, but this boiled down to the need for a different representation of Alberta in Parliament.

The Conservatives control all but one of the ridings in the province, and the Liberals have no seats in either Alberta or Saskatchewan.

Randy Boissonnault is running to take over the seat of Edmonton Center from the Liberals. (Terry Reith / CBC)

“Alberta is much more diverse than political representation. … We are diverse, we are multicultural, we are progressive and my job is to be the pragmatic and progressive voice of Edmonton. “

Members of Parliament often work long weeks and travel frequently to and from their constituencies. For those in Western Canada, that can mean hours of flight time. No problem for Boissonault, he said.

“If you are an MP from the West and are worried about going to Ottawa, you should look for another job,” he said.

Knowledge of the long hours or the burden of commuting also didn’t deter Tracey Ramsey from running for the NDP again in the Ontario riding of Essex, which she served from 2015 to 2019.

NDP MP Tracey Ramsey, represented in the House of Commons in May 2019, is once again contesting her former seat in Essex. (Justin Tang / The Canadian Press)

“Well, there’s no doubt it’s a challenge and it’s a sacrifice your family is making with you as well,” she said. But she noted that the job she turned to after 2019, as a union organizer, was not that different in terms of hours and travel.

Ramsey also characterized his decision to represent himself in terms of a conservative incumbent. She said her return as an organizer had brought her “back to the fact that we need elected people who are representative of our future. And I don’t think the current member does.”

“I miss being that voice for people, you know, someone who comes from a working class, who is a mother, who lives in a rural community,” she said.

Ramsey said it had been difficult to think of running again in the midst of a pandemic – the country should focus elsewhere, she said – but now that it was underway: “We’re ready” .

In recent years, the level of vitriol that politicians face appears to have increased, with some public figures coming under intense and persistent attack. And the ongoing protests after the liberal campaign of this election show a high level of anger in part of the population.

Ramsey said it was important for working-class people to come forward in politics to counter the wave of anger. She said she was encouraged by a wave of new politicians who were dedicated to a better way of doing politics.

“For me, it’s about showing people that politics can be done in a way that isn’t negative, it’s not something people get out of and get out of,” Se said.

“And that’s another reason I run. I don’t feel like I’m done doing the job I started.”

Other former MPs are running again

Liberal

John Aldag (Cloverdale – Langley City)
Ramez Ayoub (Thérèse-De Blainville)
Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Center)
Mike Bossio (Hastings – Lennox and Addington)
Pierre Breton (Shefford)
Doug Eyolfson (Charleswood – St. James – Assiniboia – Headingley)
Gordie Hogg (South Surrey – White Rock)
François Lapointe (Montmagny – L’Islet – Kamouraska – Rivière-du-Loup)
Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles)
Jean Rioux (Saint-Jean)

Conservative

Alupa Clarke (Beauport – Limoilou)
Joyce Bateman (Winnipeg South Center)
John Weston (West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country)

NPD

Malcolm Allen (Hamilton Mountain) (Different seat)
Paulina Ayala (Honoré Mercier)
Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier – Maskinongé)
François Choquette (Drummond)
Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor-Tecumseh)
Ève Péclet (Outremont) (Different headquarters)
Tracey Ramsey (Essex)
Brigitte Sancoucy (Saint-Hyacinthe – Bagot)
Djaouida Sellah (Montarville)
Wayne Stetski (Kootenay – Colombia)

Other:

Maxime Bernier – PPC (Beauce)
Denis Blanchette – Greens (former NDP MP – Louis-Hébert)
Corneliu Chisu – PPC (Pickering – Uxbridge) (former CPC MP)
Jean Landry – PPC (Trois-Rivières) (former deputy BQ – Lotbinière)


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