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Clock ticking for Liberals, NDP

New Democrats to select Oshawa riding candidate on Sept. 6

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is shown during a visit to Ontario Tech University’s ACE building last fall. The chair of the Oshawa Federal Liberal Association says the party has been facing some difficulty attracting local candidates.

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express0

Canada’s next federal election is roughly two months away, and the names representing two of the country’s major parties remain vacant in Oshawa.

Incumbent MP Colin Carrie will represent the Conservatives, while Greg Roy was selected as the candidate for Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada.

Jovannah Ramsden will represent the Green Party of Canada in the local riding.

Both the Liberals and New Democratic Party have yet to name their respective candidates in the riding.

But the parties are facing completely different paths moving forward.

Ashley Noble, president of the Oshawa Federal NDP Electoral Riding Association, tells The Oshawa Express the local candidate will be chosen by Sept. 6.

Noble says there are five to six contenders in line for the nomination.

Due to party regulations, they cannot be publicly named until officially becoming the candidate.

According to Noble, there was a great deal of interest, which creates a lengthy process.

“The more candidates that want to run, it takes more time to vet it all out,” she adds.

Noble admits she did have some concerns about how close to the election the candidate would be chosen.

However, any anxieties have subsided.

“I’m not all that concerned…. because we have a strong team. Whoever ends up being our candidate, I know they are going to be strong,” she says. “Once the writ drops, we’ll be able to hit the ground running.”

On the other hand, Fred Bari, chair of the Oshawa Liberal Riding Association, says it has been a struggle to attract interest in the city.

“I’m searching,” Bari sighs.

After former MP Ivan Grose held office from 1993 to 2000, the Liberals have finished third in every federal election since.

But Bari believes local party supporters may not want to finish third.

He does concede historically the city has not been a stronghold for the party.

“It is the mindset – Oshawa is not a Liberal town. Something needs to change,” he says.

With some time left, Bari hopes this will turn around – and would prefer to see the candidate be someone who lives in Oshawa.

To him, parachuting a candidate in from another area won’t help the party’s chances.

“Absolutely. That has always been an issue. The people ask you, ‘Are you from this riding?’ If not, that’s a big turn off,” he says.