This largely rural riding boasts a significant number of agricultural
workers along with a large population of elderly voters.
Its borders stretch along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River
in the south to the Big Rideau Lake in the north.
Although riding is primarily rural, the riding encompasses the centres
of Gananoque, Kemptville, Westport, Brockville, Prescott, Merrickville
and the Thousand Islands region.
As a result of the 1999 redistribution, this riding was formed from
part of the old East Grenville and the whole of Leeds-Grenville.
In the old riding of Leeds-Grenville, Tory Bob Runciman won in 1987,
1990 and 1995. He was appointed solicitor general and minister of correctional
services, but resigned from cabinet in April 1998 over allegations that
the government broke the law by publicly identifying the mother of a
young offender during a Throne Speech. Runciman was reinstated after
an RCMP investigation, and was later appointed Minister of Public Safety
Although Runciman also won the 1981 and 1985 elections in the former
riding of Leeds, it is perhaps better known as home to one of the longest-serving
MPPs in Ontario history. In a political career spanning four decades,
PC member Jim Auld represented Leeds from 1954 to 1981.