Canadians go to the polls September 20, the incumbent Liberals having called an election two years into a mandate that saw them form a minority government in 2019.
In Kitchener-Conestoga, voters will be choosing between Owen Bradley (Green), Kevin Dupuis (People’s Party), Carlene Hawley (Conservative), Tim Louis (Liberal) and Narine Dat Sookram (NDP).
Louis is the incumbent, having won the riding by a tight margin in 2019 over Conservative Harold Albrecht. His 365-vote victory essentially reversed the outcome of the 2015 election, in which Albrecht retained the seat by a margin of 251 votes over Louis.
The others are running in Kitchener-Conestoga for the first time. Bradley, a Kitchener resident, is a software developer and former securities trader. Dupuis, a West Montrose resident, is a former Waterloo Catholic District School Board trustee. Hawley, an Elmira resident, is a certified professional accountant. Sookram is a registered social worker who lives in Kitchener.
Elections Canada reports there are 74,975 voters in Kitchener-Conestoga, which has a population of 100,709.
Owen Bradley is a software developer, former securities trader and an outspoken advocate for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. He spent his early life in various parts of southern Ontario and currently resides in Kitchener.
Following the 2019 election, Bradley worked with multiple parties to coordinate a jointly-supported private member’s bill intended to introduce a one-off election via mixed-member proportional representation. He says the intention of the bill was both to introduce Canadians to an alternative electoral process and to disincentivize the declaration of a snap election by the governing Liberals. He continues to reach out to private enterprises, municipal, provincial and federal civil servants and elected officials in an effort to make electrified travel safer, more reliable and better organized to meet the evolving needs of current and future motorists.
Kevin Dupuis lives with his wife of 33 years in West Montrose. Currently semi-retired, Dupuis previously worked in the IT field for 35 years as a software developer for manufacturing and accounting software. He spent the last number of years as a knowledge management consultant for the Region of Waterloo and for Inco, the mining company. He also served as a trustee with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.
Previously, a Conservative party member who worked with Harold Albrecht’s campaign, he joined the People’s Party as the candidate for the 2021 election.
“The PPC is fighting to end the lockdowns, we are against mandatory vaccinations and we oppose the vaccine passports. The People’s Party is not anti-vax, we are all for individual choice when it comes to vaccines. We want to begin rebuilding the economy that the current governments have neglected for the last 18 months and help restore jobs and businesses that were affected by the pandemic.”
Carlene Hawley is a certified professional accountant. After leaving the YWCA-KW as CFO to help raise her family, she worked for 16 years guiding local small business, charities and farms in their financial planning. For the past two years she also served as CFO to the provincial riding association.
“I am a practical mom – raising our family of four children (now teens) with my husband Kevin. We model and teach our kids to be engaged in their community,” she says.
“It’s time for a change in Ottawa. Conservatives introduced Canada’s Recovery Plan, a real and substantial plan to secure the future for Canada. I want to secure our economy and public finances so that we have the capacity to invest in Canadians’ priorities: affordability, housing, mental health, healthcare, and climate change.”
Elected as the member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga in 2019, Tim Louis is seeking re-election based on his track record, pointing to more than $100 million in investments specifically for Kitchener-Conestoga and his community-focused approach that helped shape some of the pandemic assistance programs.
Before entering politics, Louis had a career as an award-winning songwriter and musician. He has lived in the Forest Heights area of Kitchener for the past 25 years, where he and his wife have raised their two children. Together, their family fosters rescue dogs.
“As a member of Parliament since the pandemic started, my priorities have been threefold: to keep people safe, to keep people supported and to keep people informed. As far as safe, we delivered vaccines, enough for every Canadian, two months ahead of schedule, and as far as supported, it was my job to make sure that businesses stayed open and kept their employees on payroll and kept a roof over your head and food on the table.”
Narine Dat Sookram
Narine Dat Sookram is a registered social worker, community radio host, and dedicated volunteer. Born and raised in Guyana, he says he’s always worked to make our community more equitable and inclusive for everyone.
Sookram says he’s seen vulnerable people fall behind during the pandemic, stressing the pandemic recovery should be directed at Canadians, not just the 1%.
“While Justin Trudeau was helping the ultra-rich, our local businesses and workers struggled,” he says.
“People should vote for me because I have a track record to work with diverse groups and a track record to achieve results. This will be perfect to execute the NDP platform as we fight to put people first.”