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Today is byelection day in Kanata-Carleton

Voters in west Ottawa head to the polls today to elect a new MPP to send to Queen’s Park.

The byelection in the riding of Kanata-Carleton is one of two Ontario byelections taking place today. The other is in the Toronto riding of Scarborough-Guildwood.

The byelection was called upon the departure of Progressive Conservative MPP and cabinet minister Merrilee Fullerton in March. Her departure left the Ottawa region without any cabinet representation in Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government.

Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Elections Ontario said 6,664 people voted in advance polls last week, or about 7 per cent of registered voters.

Six people are running to replace Fullerton in Kanata-Carleton:

Jennifer Boudreau – New Blue Party

According to the New Blue Party, Boudreau lives with her family in Stittsville. Boudreau ran in the 2022 Ontario general election, garnering just over 2 per cent of the vote.

Melissa Coenraad – Ontario NDP

Coenraad is a public health-care worker and has experience in union leadership, having served as Union President for OPSEU Local 475 and as an Executive Board member for the Hospitals Professional Division of OPSEU for three terms, the NDP says.

Coenraad came in second place behind Fullerton in the 2022 election, by a margin of 8,826 votes.

Karen McCrimmon – Ontario Liberal Party

McCrimmon is the former Liberal Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton, serving in the role from 2015 to 2021, when she did not seek re-election federally.

She is a 31-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, who resigned as a lieutenant colonel. She was the first woman to command a Canadian Forces air force squadron.

Josh Rachlis – Independent

Rachlis says he has worked as a camp counsellor and teacher’s aide for children with special needs, and has also written advertising copy and performed stand-up comedy.

He ran unsuccessfully as an independent in Ottawa Centre in the 2022 Ontario General Election. He also ran for mayor of Toronto in 2018, and as a Green Party candidate in the Ontario riding of Thornhill during the 2019 federal election.

Steven Warren – Green Party of Ontario

Warren is currently pursuing an Honours B.A. in Political Science at the University of Ottawa, the Green Party says. He also does gig work in Kanata.

A Green Party news release says Warren is committed to fighting for affordable and sustainable housing, protecting Ottawa’s Greenbelt, and tackling the climate crisis.

Sean Webster – PC Party of Ontario

Webster was nominated as the Ontario PC Party candidate to replace Fullerton. According to his LinkedIn profile, he most recently worked for Canopy Growth as its vice-president of government and stakeholder relations. He has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry, including as vice president of public affairs for Shoppers Drug Mart.

Speaking in Ottawa on Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford said he hoped to have a fourth PC party voice from Ottawa at Queen’s Park. 

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