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?