OTTAWA — About one-third of the 99 members comprising the new Conservative caucus are federal rookies, though many come from political careers in other levels of government. The NDP, meanwhile, has 44 caucus members, including 16 new MPs. Here’s a brief look at some of the fresh faces.
Gerard Deltell, Conservative, Louis-Saint Laurent, Que.
Deltell spent 20 years as a journalist before moving into Quebec politics, joining the Action democratique du Quebec and serving as its leader until the party was dissolved into a new political entity in 2012.
Bob Saroya, Markham-Unionville, Ont.
Born in India, Saroya immigrated to Canada in 1974. He eventually went on to own several Pizza Pizza restaurants and became a sales director with the company before first running for office in 2008. He has the distinction of being one of the few Conservative MPs from the Toronto-area as most others were defeated.
Kevin Waugh, Conservative, Saskatoon-Grasswood, Sask.
The former sports director for CTV Saskatoon spent 40 years in broadcasting before making the jump to federal politics, though he had local experience serving as school trustee. Waugh beat out former Conservative junior cabinet minister Lynn Yelich for the party nomination in their riding.
Rachel Harder, Lethbridge, Alta.
One of the youngest new members of the Conservative caucus, 28-year-old Harder comes to Ottawa with a background in researching youth issues, including a study on why young Christians choose to leave their faith.
Todd Doherty, Conservative, Cariboo-Prince George, B.C.
A former airline industry professional, Doherty’s last job before entering federal politics was to help raise money for the 2015 Canada Winter Games, which were held in B.C. city of Prince George.
Dianne Watts, Conservative, South Surrey-White Rock, B.C.
Served for nine years as the mayor of Surrey, B.C. and prior to that was on city council for nearly a decade.
Gord Johns, Courtenay-Alberni
Johns previously served on the Tofino town council. He also worked as executive director of the Tofino_Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Alistair MacGregor, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford
MacGregor served as former NDP MP Jean Crowder’s long-time assistant. He has also worked as a tree-planting supervisor and millworker.
Sheri Benson, Saskatoon West
Benson was the CEO of the local United Way and helped groups launch Saskatoon’s first plan to end homelessness. Benson also implemented the organization’s aboriginal engagement strategy.
Richard Cannings, South Okanagan-West Kootenay
Cannings is a biologist who served on B.C.’s Environmental Appeal Board and as co-chair on the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Daniel Blaikie, Elmwood-Transcona
Blaikie is an electrician by trade and was an active member of his union. The son of former MP and MLA Bill Blaikie also sat on the Winnipeg Labour Council.
Jenny Kwan, Vancouver East
Kwan, born in Hong Kong, was a community legal advocate in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She also became the youngest city councillor in Vancouver’s history in 1993.
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