Waterloo region candidates ready to hit the campaign trail as federal election gets underway

A federal election has been called and voters will go to the polls on Sept. 20. Of the four major parties that had seats in the House of Commons, the Liberals and Conservatives have candidates in all ridings in Waterloo region while the NDP and Green parties are working to secure people to run.

CBC K-W also wants to hear what issues are important to you in this election

Canadians will head to the polls next month in a federal election. This story offers a look at who is running so far. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

A federal election has been called and voters will go to the polls on September 20.

Here is a look at the five ridings in Waterloo region, who is running and a brief history of each riding.

Click on the riding to see its profile:

As the election gets underway, Elections Canada will update its website with candidates.

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo also wants to hear what issues are important to you in this election. There's a form at the bottom of this story asking for your thoughts.


The candidates in Cambridge are:

  • Liberal Bryan May (incumbent).
  • Conservative candidate Connie Cody.
  • NDP's Lorne Bruce.
  • Green candidate Michele Braniff. 
  • People's Party Maggie Segounis.

Cody has run for city council previously to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Frank Monteiro, but did not win. 

Braniff is a repeat candidate for the Greens, having run in 2015 and 2019.

Bruce has worked for Zehrs for 35 years and has held executive positions with the union and labour council. He has run previously for the NDP in other ridings in 2011 and 2015.

Segounis owns and operates the Dundee Drivin' Diner food truck.

The population of the riding, as listed on the Elections Canada website, is 115,463 and there are 90,291 voters.

Since its creation in 1979, the riding has largely been held by Conservatives. Progressive Conservative Chris Speyer was the first MP for the riding, holding the seat from 1979 to 1988 when he was replaced by Progressive Conservative Pat Sobeski, who held the seat until 1993.

In 1993, Liberal Janko Peric won the riding and held the seat until 2004. That's when Conservative Gary Goodyear won the seat. Goodyear served as MP until 2015 when May was elected.

In 2011, Goodyear won the seat with 53.4 per cent of the vote and was followed by the NDP candidate who had 27.68 per cent of the vote. May also ran that year, coming in third with 15.05 per cent of the vote.

In 2015, May was elected with 43.17 per cent of the vote, just ahead of Goodyear who had 38.65 per cent. The NDP came in third with 13.87 per cent of the vote and the Greens had 3.23 per cent.

The riding has changed boundaries a few times, sometimes to include sections of the south part of Kitchener. The last change was in 2015 when the riding of Kitchener South-Hespeler was created. It currently includes the city of Cambridge, North Dumfries Township and part of Brant Township.

Kitchener Centre

The candidates in Kitchener Centre are:

  • Conservative Mary Henein Thorn.
  • NDP's Beisan Zubi.
  • Green candidate Mike Morrice.
  • People's Party Diane Boskovic.
  • Animal Protection Party's Ellen Papenburg.

The Liberal incumbent, Raj Saini, has dropped out of the race following allegations of unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate comments were made public. Saini denied all the allegations as "unequivocally false" but said he would no longer be running to win his seat.

Henein Thorn ran in the 2018 provincial election for the Progressive Conservatives. Zubi formerly worked at Communitech and is a first-time candidate. Morrice ran in the 2019 federal election and finished second, garnering 14,394 votes to Saini's 20,316.

The population of the riding, as listed on the Elections Canada website, is 105,258 with 83,884 voters.

The seat was most recently held by Liberal Raj Saini, who first won the seat in 2015. That year, he beat the incumbent, Conservative Stephen Woodworth, with 48.78 per cent of the vote to Woodworth's 30.36 per cent of the vote.

Woodworth held the seat from 2008 to 2015. In 2008, he beat then Liberal MP Karen Redman. Redman had been the MP for the riding in 1997, when she beat the Progressive Conservative's John Reimer.

The riding was created in 1996 from parts of two other ridings: Kitchener and Kitchener-Waterloo.


The candidates in Kitchener-Conestoga are:

  • Liberal Tim Louis (incumbent).
  • Conservative Carlene Hawley.
  • NDP's Narine Dat Sookram.
  • Green's Owen Bradley.
  • People's Party candidate Kevin Depuis.

Hawley is a first time candidate and works as a certified professional accountant. Depuis is a former Waterloo Catholic District School Board trustee.

The population of the riding, as listed on the Elections Canada website, is 100,709 with 74,975 voters.

Liberal Tim Louis beat Conservative Harold Albrecht in 2019 by a narrow margin, 20,480 votes to 20,115.

Albrecht had been the MP since 2006.

In 2015, Albrecht narrowly defeated Louis when there was a 251 vote difference between them.

Albrecht won the 2011 election with 54.12 per cent of the vote.

Prior to 2004, the riding was split up between Waterloo-Wellington, Kitchener Centre and Cambridge. Waterloo-Wellington was held by Liberal Lynn Myers from its creation in 1997 to 2004.

Kitchener South-Hespeler

The candidates in Kitchener South-Hespeler are:

  • Liberal Valerie Bradford.
  • Conservative Tyler Calver.
  • NDP's Suresh Arangath. 
  • Green's Gabe Rose.
  • People's Party Melissa Baumgaertner.
  • Marxist-Leninist Party's Elaine Baetz.
  • Rhinocéros Party's Stephen Davis.
  • Independent candidate C.A. Morrison.

The most recent MP for Kitchener South-Hespeler is Marwan Tabbara. Tabbara was elected as a Liberal, but became an independent in 2020 after he left the Liberal party following being charged with assault, break-and-enter and criminal harassment.

When asked on Friday, a spokesperson for Tabbara said he has not yet said whether he will be seeking re-election.

Bradford is a first-time candidate and works as a business development officer for the City of Kitchener. Calver, a journalist, sought the Conservative nomination in 2019 in Cambridge but lost.

Arangath is a first-time candidate and works as a financial advisor. Rose is also a first-time candidate and is a healthcare worker at a Kitchener hospital.

The population of the riding, as listed on the Elections Canada website, is 105,309 with 80,150 voters.

This riding was first created in 2015. The first MP was Marwan Tabbara, who won the 2015 and 2019 elections. 

In 2019, Tabbara beat Conservative candidate Alan Keeso 20,986 votes to 17,480. It was a similar race in 2015, when Tabbara beat Conservative candidate Marian Gagné 17,544.

The boundaries include the part of Cambridge that is north of Highway 401 and a section of Kitchener east of Fischer-Hallman Road and south of the Conestoga Parkway, Fairway Road and Kossuth Road. The riding stretches east to Townline Road.


The candidates in Waterloo are:

  • Liberal Bardish Chagger (incumbent).
  • Conservative Meghan Shannon.
  • NDP's Jonathan Cassels.
  • Green's Karla Villagomez Fajardo.
  • People's Party's Patrick Doucette. 

Shannon is a first-time candidate, has a PhD in geography and has managed a non-profit that serves at-risk youth. Villagomez Fajardo is a first time-candidate and a student at Wilfrid Laurier University. Doucette is also a first-time candidate and works as a realtor and small business owner.

The population of the riding, as listed on the Elections Canada website, is 110,134 with 88,927 voters.

Waterloo is the most historic riding in the region. It was created in 1966 when the ridings of Waterloo North and Waterloo South — which includes all of Waterloo region — were broken up into smaller ridings.

Between 1993 and 2015, though, the riding was split into Waterloo-Wellington and Kitchener-Waterloo.

Liberal Bardish Chagger, who has had several cabinet positions, including most recently the minister of diversity, inclusion and youth, won in 2019 with 48.8 per cent of the vote. Chagger first won the seat in 2015 over Conservative Peter Braid. Chagger won that election with 49.7 per cent of the vote. 

Braid had held the seat from 2008 to 2015. He won in 2008 over Liberal Andrew Telegdi, who was the MP for the riding from 1997 to 2008.

Prior to Telegdi, Progressive Conservative Walter McLean was the MP from 1979 to 1993. From 1968 to 1979 the seat was held by New Democratic Party MP Max Saltsman.

Before 1968, the riding was part of Waterloo North. It was largely held by Liberals, including the very first MP who was Isaac Erb Bowman and also William Lion Mackenzie King from 1908 to 1911.

But Conservative Joseph Seagram also served as MP between 1896 and 1908 as did William George Weichel, who beat Mackenzie King for the seat and held it from 1911 to 1917. Weichel went on to become mayor of Waterloo.

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