This riding is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario approximately
60 kilometres east of Toronto.
It takes in most of city of Oshawa, a centre of the Canadian automobile
industry. One of the province's most industrial regions, it's no surprise
that the local economy is dominated by General Motors.
As a result of the 1999 redistribution, the riding combined more than
one-third of Durham Centre with more than three-quarters of the old
The old riding of Oshawa was traded between the NDP and Tories for years,
beginning with victories by CCF candidate T.D. Thomas in 1955 and 1959.
Thomas was defeated by Tory Albert Walker in 1963, but the seat was
recaptured when the NDP's Cliff Pilkey beat Walker in 1967. Pilkey was
in turn defeated by Tory Charles McIlveen in 1971.
In 1975, the NDP's Mike Breaugh won the riding and was re-elected in
the next four elections. The NDP continued its streak when Allan Pilkey,
son of Cliff, won in 1990. Pilkey served in the cabinet of Bob Rae,
but was defeated by current incumbent Jerry Ouellette in 1995.
In Durham Centre, Liberal Allan Furlong defeated NDP candidate Sarah
Kelly in 1987. The NDP's Drummond White beat Furlong in 1990. Jim Flaherty
won the seat for the Tories in 1995.