Riding Watch: Expecting drama in Ajax-Pickering
Published Monday, October 3, 2011 8:46AM EDT
Voting patterns in Ajax have been volatile over the last two decades, with the riding changing hands between the three major parties over the last five elections.
Liberal incumbent Joe Dickson took 49 per cent of the vote in the 2007 provincial election – putting the Grits in charge for a second straight term following Wayne Arthurs's win for the party in 2003.
Local resident Dickson has lots of political experience on his resume. He was a Ward 2 councillor for the area, a regional councilor and deputy-mayor of Ajax.
But this time, the competition is a little stiffer – Dickson is up against two candidates with equally firm political roots in the area.
NDP candidate Evan Wiseman is the son of Jim Wiseman, a former NDP MPP who held the Durham-West seat (before redistribution) from 1990-1995. Both Wiseman and Dickson lost the 1995 election to Tory Janet Ecker.
The younger Wiseman is a recent University of Toronto grad and has spoken out against a proposed airport in Pickering.
The Tory candidate this time around is Todd McCarthy, a part-time professor at Durham College and a lawyer. He's a partner at Flaherty Dow Elliott & McCarthy.
If you recognize the firm's other names, they belong to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his wife, Whitby-Oshawa MPP and health care critic Christine Elliott.
With a roster of well-connected candidates, this riding could go to any of the parties.
GEOGRAPHY AND DEMOGRAPHY
Nestled in Durham Region, the riding is made up of Ajax and part of Pickering. The population is slightly more than 100,000 with an average family income of $74,112.
It is a multicultural riding, with a significant portion of black, Filipino, East and South Asian voters, with visible minorities comprising more than 36 per cent of voters.
Delis, Andrew (LTN)
Dickson, Joe (LIB)
McCarthy, Todd (PC)
Toman, Steven (GRN)
Wiseman, Evan (NDP)