Politics

Rookie NDP MP Brosseau cleared by Elections Canada

Elections Canada has cleared the way for Ruth Ellen Brosseau to take on her new job as a Quebec MP after questions about her nomination papers.
One of the NDP's rookies, Ruth Ellen Brosseau, has been confirmed by Elections Canada as MP for Berthier-Maskinonge. (Canadian Press)

Elections Canada has cleared the way for Ruth Ellen Brosseau to take on her new job as a Quebec MP — for a riding she lives nowhere near — after looking into questions about her nomination papers.

"The result of the election is valid and stands unless the court rules otherwise," Elections Canada spokesman John Enright told CBC News.

Questions were raised in the wake of Monday's election about whether Brosseau's nomination papers were valid after one man on the list of electors said he didn't remember providing his signature, and added that a signature purported to be his wife's didn't look like hers. The signatures of 100 residents of a riding are required for a candidate to be nominated.

The Conservative candidate in the Berthier-Maskinonge riding, Marie-Claude Godue, wanted a byelection called after reports first surfaced. Now that Elections Canada has given the green light to Brosseau, Godue would have to go to court to try to get the result overturned.

A request to the Superior Court of Quebec to contest the election has to be made within 30 days of the election result being validated.

With the voting results validated by Elections Canada, it is official that Brosseau, the now former restaurant and bar manager who speaks little French, won the riding by 5,735 votes.

Brosseau was in the spotlight even before she pulled off her surprising victory. She took a mid-campaign vacation to Las Vegas and barely mounted a campaign. She lives in Ottawa, hours away from the riding she now represents, which is mainly francophone.

The NDP has said they will work with the young woman to improve her French. In the meantime, they are not permitting her to speak to the media.

There is little information in Brosseau's biography on the NDP website. It cites her interest in rescuing injured animals, her diploma in advertising from St. Lawrence College, and her job as an assistant manager at a restaurant.

That restaurant, Oliver's Pub on the campus of Carleton University, is now hiring. A job posting appeared online Thursday for a manager position, listing a salary between $38,000 and $53,000.

It's not clear whether that's the job Brosseau is leaving — but the one she's got now on Parliament Hill will give her a $157,000 annual paycheque, plus expenses.