Manitoba

From euphoniums to Family Guy: 5 little-known facts about Robert-Falcon Ouellette

Robert-Falcon Ouellette won a decisive victory in Winnipeg Centre Monday night. Here are five things you might not know about the soon-to-be MP for Winnipeg Centre.

Ouellette has 5 kids, plays the euphonium and names Family Guy among favourite shows

Robert-Falcon Ouellette was the second-ever First Nations person to earn a PhD from Laval University in Quebec City. (Evan Matthews)

Robert-Falcon Ouellette won a decisive victory in Winnipeg Centre Monday night.

Despite being relatively new to politics (his political history is limited to a failed bid for mayor in 2014), Ouellette defeated NDP incumbent Pat Martin, who held the seat since 1997.

He's now one of a record number of indigenous members of Parliament who have been elected to the House of Commons.

In fact, Ouellette was the second-ever First Nations person to earn a PhD from Laval University in Quebec City. In addition to that PhD, he has two master's degrees.

Here are five things you might not know about the soon-to-be MP for Winnipeg Centre.

1. He's a retired military officer (with a background in music)

Ouellette put in 15 years of service in the Canadian military including service with medical and combat units as well as musical military groups.

He retired from the military as a Petty Officer Second Class, and in 2014, he was still a part of the Naval Reserve.

He played the solo euphonium for the Royal 22nd Regiment for several years. Ouellette also plays the saxophone and piano.

Don't know what a euphonium is? It's kind of like a small tuba.

2. Doesn't live in Winnipeg Centre and is relatively new to city

Ouellette moved to Winnipeg just five years ago from Quebec City after getting a job at the University of Manitoba.

When his family was moving here, they looked for a place near his work and settled on a suburban house in a south Winnipeg subdivision.

In 2014, his wife, Catherine Cantin told CBC that Winnipeg's high crime rate was behind the decision to move to a suburb.

Ouellette said during his campaign he doesn't plan to move to Winnipeg Centre — one of Canada's most impoverished ridings — but he does plan to work there five days a week.

Ouellette no longer works at the U of M.

​3. His 2 favourite TV shows are cartoons

In 2014, Ouellette said his two favourite TV shows were the subversive FOX cartoons for adults: Family Guy and The Simpsons.

4. Married high-school sweetheart, has 5 kids

Robert-Falcon Ouellette was 17 when he started dating Cantin. She was 17 at the time as well. The pair now have five kids together — four boys and one girl — but during the municipal election campaign, Ouellette admitted he was slacking on chores like cooking and cleaning.

OuelletteCantin and their five children switch back and forth between English and French in their home and have a fully bilingual household.

5. Never smoked pot but in favour of legalizing it

During his campaign, Ouellette told CBC he has never tried marijuana, and he doesn't plan to.

"I made a vow when I joined the cadets that we would not use drugs. I believe in that vow," he said. "I'm actually curious, but I'll probably never do it. I've come this far in my life."

Still, Ouellette said his party is in favour of legalizing pot and regulating it to raise cash for social programs.

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