Nickel Belt (056)
Surrounding the northern riding of Sudbury, Nickel Belt is a mix of the urban and rural.
It has a strong francophone presence: about 34 per cent of the population has French as a mother tongue.
The riding encompasses Val Caron, Hamner, Capreol, Coneston, Nickel Belt, Rayside-Balfour, Valley East and Walden. Also in this riding are the Mattagami and Whitefish Lake native reserves.
Natural resources, especially mining, play an important part in the local economy.
As a result of the 1999 redistribution, the new Nickel Belt riding combined the majority of the old Nickel Belt with two-thirds of Sudbury East.
From Elections Ontario:
Nickel Belt [HTML] [PDF, 332KB]
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Nickel Belt is one of the few long-standing NDP strongholds in the province, and has been for more than 30 years.
In 1971, the NDP's Floyd Laughren beat two-term Tory incumbent Gaston Demers. Laughren, who served as finance minister under Bob Rae, held the seat until 1998, when he resigned to become head of the Ontario Energy Board.
NDP candidate Blain Morin won the resulting byelection, but chose not to run again in 1999.
In the old riding of Sudbury East, the NDP's Elie Martel won every election from 1967 to 1985.
His daughter Shelley Martel won the seat in 1987 and later served in Bob Rae's cabinet. She resigned in 1994 (the same year she married fellow MPP Howard Hampton), but ran again in 1995 and in the restructured Nickel Belt riding in 1999, winning both times. Her streak continued in 2003 as she defeated Liberal Alex McCauley by 2,826 votes.
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|Last Update:October 11, 2:25:56 AM EDT|