Like other northern ridings, this one is marked by a declining population
and a vast land area. Major population centres here are Kirkland Lake,
Cochrane and Iroquois Falls.
The riding extends from the Territorial District of Cochrane in the
north to Lake Nipissing in the south. The Ontario-Quebec border forms
the its eastern boundary.
According to the 1996 census, more than 38 per cent of the riding's
residents call French their mother tongue, the third highest rate in
Ontario. It also has the lowest percentage of people holding post-secondary
degrees (four per cent).
In the 1999 redistribution, the new riding of Timiskaming-Cochrane
combined the former riding of Timiskaming with 19 per cent of Cochrane
North, 19 per cent of Cochrane South, 19 per cent of Nipissing, 10 per
cent of Sudbury East and one poll from Nickel Belt.
In the old Timiskaming riding, Tory Ed Havrot won in 1971, but was
defeated by the NDP's Bob Bain in 1975. Havrot came back to beat Bain
in 1977, and was re-elected in 1981. Current incumbent David Ramsay
ran as an NDP candidate to defeat Havrot in 1985. Ramsay joined the
Liberals in 1986, and has been re-elected in every election since.
In the old riding of Nipissing, Liberal Dick Smith won elections from
1965 to 1975. The seat went to Liberal Mike Bolan for one term in 1977.
Premier Mike Harris (1995-2001) represented the riding from 1981 until
his retirement in 2001.