Canadian Federal Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction
Ottawa Centre

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
Mac Harb
Canadian Alliance:
David Brown
Progressive Conservative Party:
Beverley Mitchell
New Democratic Party:
Heather-jane Robertson
Green Party:
Chris Bradshaw
Marxist-Leninist Party:
Mistahi Corkill
Canadian Action Party:
Carla Marie Dancey
Communist Party:
Marvin Glass
Natural Law Party:
Neil Paterson
Marijuana Party:
Brad Powers

Mac Harb

Previous Result:

Surrounding Ridings
Ottawa South
Ottawa West-Nepean

Population: 106 562
Avg Household Income 48 689
Submitted Information
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17/10/00 Mike Wakefield Email:
Must be re-evaluated if Mac Harb takes the rumoured Senate seat and Penny Collennette (wife of David) is parachuted in.
21/10/00 Mike M. Email:
Mac Harb has done a fairly decent job of representing a riding made up mostly of federal government employees. This is a very Liberal riding and Harb is certainly an up and coming cabinet preference. With regards to the Senate, I am pretty sure that those are just media rumours.
25/10/00 JGH Email:
I expect the Liberals to hold this barring some pretty dramatic turnarounds in national campaign fortunes. However, the following mitigating factors should be noted: 1. The NDP figure this riding to be one of the 5 or 6 ridings in Ontario that they have a shot in and consequently will be throwing the kitchen sink into this race. Not a bad decision, since the NDP is ususally competitive here. 2. In the last provincial election, the Tory candidate pulled a stunningly close 2nd place to the eventual Liberal victor. Ott-Ctr provincial shares the same boundaries as the federal one. It was stunning because, in my memory, the political right has NEVER been seriously competitive in this riding.
30/10/00 Mike Wakefield Email:
Two possible contributing factors to the Tories strong showing in the last provincial election: the NDP candidate (some voted for her on the theory that she could do less damage in the backbenches at Queen's Park than at Ottawa City Hall), and a lot of federal employees figuring out that their best pay increase in a decade resulted from the Harris tax cut. Neither issue should be a factor now, and Mac should cruise.
31/10/00 Paul Mulligan
Mac Harb has been a great riding representative who pays attention to all the various peoples who make up Ottawa Centre. Ottawa center is one of canadas most multi-cultually diverse ridings. The major factors in this election for Ottawa Centre are the same as in the rest of but with an underlying fear of the alliance plan to dismantle government and erode the univeresallity of our public programs. The Liberal Party is the party best place to preseve these programs and the voters of Ottawa Centre recognise this.
02/11/00 A.S.
The civil servant/urban progressive factor's earmarked this as an eternally prime NDP target, even though they won it only once (in 1984, and by a recount margin, at that). In the hopelessness of 1993, they offered ex-mayor Marion Dewar; she made it to the low 20s. Same with young gay community activist Jamey Heath in 1997. As presaged by the 1999 provincial election, there's danger of worse happening; but they remain the preferred anti-Liberal alternative around here. On balance, Harb looks free...but shaken. And more shaken by his presence in the pre-election HRDC scrum. Maybe he isn't so free...
12/11/00 Dale Woloshin Email:
Mac has a faithful ethnic following, but NDP has been a consistent second. I was surprised to see Mac run again, as rumours about him taking a senate or other post have been circulating for a number of months, as he has been missing events due to health, so the rumours go. Heather-jane is getting a lot of resources behind her, due to her hard-hitting reputation. If the local All-Candidates debates get press coverage, she could put pressure on Mac. had it been a spring election and a new Liberal candidate, I might well be predicting Heather-jane and the NDP.
13/11/00 Michael Vickers
As an NDP partisan, I hope that the voters of Ottawa Centre will wake up to Mac Harb's long history of being a highly forgettable MP. To this end, I have created, a website devoted to helping Harb get that seat in the Senate, by going down to defeat to the NDP.
Editor's Note: Okey, I know this is purely political ad, but the weblink presents real relvence and therefore I will go against the rule and allow this posting.
16/11/00 DLP Email:
As in the provicial election, there are few NDP signs in Centretown an area that the NDP must win overwhelmingly to have so much as a shot at winning this riding. In my downtown neighbourhood, even house that had NDP signs during the provincial election are without this time around. The added threat of the Canadian Alliance should help convince soft NDPs that voting NDP is too much of risk to take this time.
16/11/00 JGH Email:
Lawn signs on private property in Centretown and surrounding area are roughly 50-50 for Liberals and NDP - a much better showing for the NDP than they did in '97 under Heath. Not sure how the bourgeois Western part of the riding will play out - likely in Harb's favour. PC and CA largely invisible here.
19/11/00 C. Betts
If it were almost any other backbencher running for re-election in any other Ottawa riding, it would be easy to declare this space for the Liberal. However, this is Ottawa Centre and the Liberals are running Mac Harb. This is a member who barely knows that Carleton University exists let alone that it is situated in his riding, a member whose only noteworthy activity in 12 years is his own self-congratulatory householders distributed at taxpayers expense. Mr. Harb is not only one of the gaggle of Liberal MPs that could not find a committee room on time to debate the Auditor General's report before the desolution of the House, he is a perennial last choice for a Cabinet position. Ottawa is not going to get a second chair anytime soon, what with the capable John Manley sitting at the table, and if it does it is more likely to go to someone deserving and qualified like Mauril Belanger, not Mr. Harb. This is a member who was terrified that he might be challenged by Jim Watson, and whose only goal for re-election is the change that the Prime Minister might have use of his seat and provide him a nice patronage plum like an Embassador seat (which is what it would be with Mr. Harb) or (egad!) a Senate seat. The riding knows all about Mr. Harb and he can't hide this time around. Mr. Harb may have beat Ms. Dewar, but this is not 1993. Last time out, Mr. Heath did very well. As this remains a wasteland for all but the most formidable Tories or Alliance candidates, expect Ms. Robertson to do even better for the NDP in 2000. It will be close, but this is a winnable riding for the NDP.
19/11/00 JAM Email:
True, the incumbent does have a high profile - BUT the result of this riding will depend on who actually does the voting on the 27th. From the Glebe and Centretown over to the far eastern part of the riding one can see a variety of voter profiles. It runs the gamut from arm chair socialists to students to public servants. A very telling feature about this riding was apparent in last week's municipal election where the victor (by a large margin)is considered to be quite left-leaning... if the same folks that went out to vote for Mr. Doucet get out on E-day, there could be an upset here.
21/11/00 Jamey Heath Email:
I can't pretend to be unbiased since I was the NDP candidate in 1997. Predicting Centre is difficult, but Heather-jane has a better shot than most think. The higher the Liberals are in the national polls, the better it is for the NDP in Centre. Sounds dumb, but with the Liberals cruising to a majority government, the argument to vote Liberal to stop the Alliance loses all credibility. This represents a sizeable chunk of Harb's vote, which evaporates with each new national poll. I won't rewrite history, but I will say this. On the last weekend of the 97 campaign, the NDP lost about 5 points in Centre because the headlines were saying the Liberals were in deep trouble nationally. We would not have won, but the spread would have been considerably narrowed. Also, remember the 97 election was in June, meaning few students voted. This is November and there is every indication the NDP will do exceptionally well at Carleton. The 99 provincial campaign, again with no students voting, actually shows the strength of the NDP, not the weakness. Arnold received the highest NDP vote in Ontario in any non-incumbent seat. While NDP support was collapsing province-wide, it held here, taking the 97 total from 24% to 25%. While Elisabeth did indeed come third, no-one in their right mind attributes Ontario Tory votes to the Alliance. Were that the case, 905 would be awash in Alliance votes, yet they're going to get thumped. Unlike Harris, Day is too stupid to avoid social issues, thus blunting his appeal to Ontario conservatives. And keep in mind there are two right-wing parties federally, meaning at worst Heather-jane will come second and at best has a real shot at defeating Harb. As for Harb's comments in the Citizen today about the real opposition in Centre being the Alliance, what a hoot. He said the same thing in 97 about Reform, which came fourth with 12% of the vote. The NDP's either won or finished second here in four straight elections, one of which will come true again on Monday.
21/11/00 P Chamberlain Email:
I'm a graduate Political Science student at Carleton (in this riding) and in the surrounding areas I see a lot of support for the NDP candidate. The "Glebe" area is considered pretty left-wing, but some of the more middle-class fringes may be enough for the Liberals to hang on. The NDP campaign is making the biggest impact for sure, so I would not be surprised if the NDP take this one.
21/11/00 Ottawa Citizens Andrew Duffy
Disaffected Grits work to oust
22/11/00 Dale Woloshin Email:
I am switching my prediction. I still remember that Mac pulled out a huge upset 3 years ago, when the NDP forces predicted it very close, but after the following: -many, many Heather-jane Robertson signs where not expected -ongoing rumours of Mac Harb waiting for a Senate seat -the major Ottawa paper reporting on a group called "Liberals for a Change", who are working to get Heather-jane elected to show the Liberals a lesson (I was in Saskatchewan in 82 and Ontario in 95, so I know how this feeling can be very strong) -the same paper hinting that Heather-jane can take it (this paper was Conrad Black's flagship paper so that says volumes. Check out the Ottawa Citizen ( for Nov 20 or 21 for these articles (I have them somewhere...)
22/11/00 TPM Email:
Interesting fact is that The NNP candidate does not even live in the riding but has to commute From Blackburn Hamlet. The Liberal candidate has lived n the riding for many years and is closely aligned with some of the groups seen to be left leaning. In particular his strong support of solical housinf and the co-operative housing movement both large factors in parts of Ottawa Centre should stand him in good sted. The alliance is a strong contender in Ottawa centre is forgotten in the traditional battle between the liberals and NDP for this riding. But we only have to look at the results of the provincial election where a Right Wing neo-con ran for the tories and came in second to the Liberals. This was mainly due to the shift in demographics caused by the change in riding boundaries all in alll Ottawa Centre is always an interesting riding to watch and work in.
22/11/00 DLP Email:
Signs in Centretown still do not even reflect the "strength" of the third place NDP provincial campaign. Interestingly, there are a growing number of Green Party signs on private property in the area. This must be disheartening the the NDP who, not that long ago, could have counted on environmental voters without hesitation. This reflects an erosion of core NDP support in Centretown. Among the Green voters I know, their concern is not about the viability of the NDP candidate, but the inability of the NDP to reflect or represent their concerns on a whole series of issues at all.
22/11/00 Dale Woloshin
I found the quote from yesterday's newspaper that affirms the Libreal woes in Ottawa Centre, which confirm what I am hearing and seeing in the riding.
23/11/00 JGH Email:
I'm not ready to call this anything but Liberal yet, but as for this notion that the CA is in any way a threat - that is ridiculous. As Jamey Heath noted, Harb said that last time about Reform, which caused everyone on Harb's team to have a good chuckle and then go back to their real fight with the NDP. To further illustrate this, I received my CA brochure in the mail last week (hmm... not canvassing?) and the candidate had his brochure unilingually in english. This is a tremendously boneheaded move in a riding in which there is a significant franco population, and where this type of thing is noticed by the anglos as well. The CA *may* place a distant third, ahead of the PCs. They will NOT threaten to win this seat. That is crazy talk.
23/11/00 JAM
I totally agree with JGH's assertion about CRAP not being a factor here. Any claim to the contary is simply a tactic by Harb's people to ensure that voters stay scared and thus vote Liberal as the anti-CRAP alternative. The more that people think that Stock & Co. have a shot on Monday, the more that folks will flock to the Libs... BUT folks are generally pretty bright around here and can judge the stae of the mood for themselves... without Mr. Harb's manipulation I see two ridings in Ont. where the NDP may break through - Ottawa Centre and Trinity-Spadina. Of the two... this one may be the more likely.
25/11/00 JAM Email:
Check out the URL below for the Citizen's take on this riding - of course, they are endorsing the Alliance candidate - but who REALLY takes this Conrad-rag seriously?
Interestingly, the last sentence of the piece pleading for voters not to cast their ballot for Mr. Harb, is at the very least a telling signal of how many people in this riding feel about the incumbent.
26/11/00 TPM Email:
After watchiing yesterdays piece of street theatre I think the NDP are grasping at straws. Using a deliberate misquote in a last minute piece of literature in the hope that Mr Harbs campaign would not have time to counter the misinformation was the sign of a losing campaign that would stoop to lies and total fabrication to try and pull it out. You should note that of all the issues in Ottawa Centre housing and support for co-opertive housing ,affordable housing are some of Mac Harbs greatest strenghts.

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Last Updated 26 November 2000

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