A close contest seems likely in this southern Ontario riding now that the one-time MP who secured the seat by only 86 votes in 2015 has opted not to seek a second term in the House of Commons. Conservative Alex Nuttall, a close ally of People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, announced last year his time in Parliament was taking too much of a toll on his young family and he would not run for re-election this time around.
Population: 100,788 as of the 2016 census
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Major communities: A part of the city of Barrie, the Township of Springwater and a part of the Township of Oro Medonte.
Contenders: Former Barrie city councillor Doug Shipley will take the Conservative Party banner from Nuttall. Brian Kalliecharan, a dental surgeon and local business owner, will run for the Liberals. Other challengers include Dan Janssen for the NDP, returning Green party candidate Marty Lancaster, and David Patterson for the People’s party.
Election History: Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte is a relatively new riding created during a major redistribution. Nuttall is the only MP to serve the jurisdiction to date. The Liberals secured a judicial recount in the riding in 2015, after which Nuttall’s victory was reaffirmed.
Fun fact: In last year’s provincial election, real estate lawyer Doug Downey was appointed to represent the riding for the Progressive Conservatives after disgraced party leader Patrick Brown was barred from running again. In June, Downey was suddenly promoted to cabinet and now serves as Ontario’s Attorney General.
The Canadian Press