With nearly 100,000 residents, this large rural riding in southern
Ontario includes the city of Owen Sound and the town of Hanover. Although
there is some light industry in Owen Sound, agriculture still remains
a major industry.
The predominantly English Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound riding stretches along
the north coast of Lake Huron and the south shores of Georgian Bay.
Dividing the riding is the Niagara Escarpment, and it is bordered to
the north by Fathom Five National Marine Park
The 1999 redistribution formed the new riding of Bruce-Grey by combining
45 per cent of the former Bruce and 80 per cent of Grey-Owen Sound.
The former riding of Bruce
was won by Liberal Murray Elston in 1987. After serving in the cabinet
of David Peterson, Elston was elected interim party leader in 1991,
but lost a tight 1992 leadership race to Lyn McLeod. Elston remained
as Opposition house leader until his 1994 resignation. The Conservatives
took the seat in 1995.
In the former riding of Grey-Owen Sound, PC candidate Bill Murdoch
broke 15 years of Liberals control with his 1990 victory, and has held
the seat ever since.
The riding's name has been changed twice in recent years: to Bruce-Grey
prior to the 1999 election, then to Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound in 2000.