Most of the residents in this largely bilingual riding live in the
Ottawa suburb of Gloucester. The riding includes most of the city of
Gloucester and part of Cumberland Township in the northeast. The riding
is bordered by the Rideau River to the south.
With about one-third of the population French-speaking, the economy
is also dependent on government services, which employs about 19 per
cent of the labour force.
As a result of the redistribution of 1999, this riding took in 66
per cent of the Carleton-East riding and just over 25 per cent of Prescott-Russell.
The old riding of Carleton-East
was held by PC member Albert Lawrence from 1963 to 1974, during which
time he was a cabinet minister. The NDP's Evelyn Gigantes held the seat
from 1975 until early 1981, when PCs reclaimed it.. Liberal Gilles Morin
won in 1985, who served in the cabinet of David Peterson, retired before
the 1999 election.
The former riding of Prescott-Russell was a PC holdout through the
1960s and 1970s, but elected Liberal candidate Don Boudria in 1981.
Although Boudria resigned to run federally, the Liberals retained the
seat until 1999.
The name of this riding was changed to Ottawa-Orléans from Carleton-Gloucester
in June 2000.