Ruth Ellen Brosseau is a former NDP Member of Parliament whose origins in Canadian politics are a favourite tale among political observers and staffers in Ottawa. She was a ‘paper candidate’ for the NDP in 2011, putting her name on the ballot in a longshot riding just so her favourite political party could fill a slate of candidate during the election that year. Famously, she was in Las Vegas during the campaign and never set foot in the Quebec riding where she was ostenibly carrying the NDP banner.
Then the so-called ‘orange crush’ happened with a wave of support for an ailing Jack Layton propelling a number of Quebec NDP candidates – including Brosseau – into Parliament. The unilingual English-speaking Brosseau now represented Berthier-Maskinongé, a 98% francophone riding in Quebec.
Would her victory be a one-off? She learned French and impressed her constitutents enough that she went on to hold the seat through until 2019 when the NDP was wiped out in Quebec save for one seat held by MP Alexandre Boulerice. Brosseau lost her seat to Bloc candidate Yves Perron.
Now Brosseau tells TVA in response to their inquiry on her political future – with an expected election call to occur on Sunday – that she will have some news to announce in the coming days and that if she were to run, it would be with the NDP. The Liberal Party actively sought to recruit Brosseau with the former MP rejecting these overtures, according to TVA’s reporting.
If she chooses to represent the NDP in Berthier-Maskinongé, she’ll be up against the Liberal’s second choice, Alexandre Bellemare and Conservative candidate Léo Soulières.
Brosseau’s political career has certainly had its ups and downs. Brosseau served as deputy national caucus chair with her party but was also elbowed by Prime Minister Trudeau in the House of Commons in a scandal dubbed ‘Elbowgate’. Brosseau faced verbal harrassment by Liberal supporters for days after the incident. Conservatives rallied to her defense.
Will Brosseau return to the House of Commons? Will she announce that she intends to run?
LaPresse’s Joël-Denis Bellevance received a tip (likely from an eager Conservative war-room) that the O’Toole Conservatives have recruited the former Quebec minister of Labour to run for them in the upcoming – and if reports are true – imminent federal election.
Dominique Vien was a cabinet minister in Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberal government. She served the riding of Bellechasse from 2003-2007 and then from 2008 to 2018. Vien notably served as Quebec minister of Tourism and Quebec minister of social services.
Now she will be running for Steven Blaney’s seat in Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis. Blaney held ministerial portfolios in the Harper government – first in public safety and then in veterans affairs.
Conservatives have ties into three provincial parties in Quebec which often proves to be a difficult balancing act. This candidate pickup is from the Quebec Liberals, but federal Conservatives have also cultivated ties with the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the provincial Parti Conservateur du Québec (PCQ).
Dominique Vien is a former radio journalist who used to work for CFIN FM Radio-Bellechasse and for Radio-Canada. Most recently she was working as the Director General for the regional municipality of des Etchemins.
Canada’s federal political parties are already on an election footing. I was able to obtain an advance copy of the NDP platform. I’ve posted both the executive summary and full platform document below. If you dislike Scribd embeds, I’ve also provided some download links as well.
The NDP campaign slogan appears to be “Ready for Better” while the Liberals are rumoured to be testing “Forward. For Everyone.”