Dominos in Ottawa Centre | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

RobDekker's picture
Ottawa, Ontario
About the author

Rob currently works on Parliament Hill and is on the Daybreak Non-Profit Housing Board of Directors.  He writes regularly on his blog #RedHeartBlueSign at on lifestyle, political and personal topics.


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Dominos in Ottawa Centre

March 30, 2024

One scoop by the Kitchissippi Times is going to send the dominos falling in Ottawa Centre.  The potential of Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden running federally can upset almost every level of politics in Ottawa Centre.

A little news scoop by the Kitchissippi Times Editor Charlie Senack on March 14th has created a game of political dominos in Ottawa Centre.  Senack reported that Ottawa Centre NDP MPP Joel Harden filed his papers to run as the Federal NDP candidate for Ottawa Centre in the next federal election now expected to be October 27, 2025 following the tabling of C-65 an Act to amend the Elections Act.   Here’s a link to the scoop,

This one little news scoop may have every party at every level in the Parliamentary Precinct riding of Ottawa Centre scrabbling; dominos are going to fall. 

Domino #1 Joel Harden does win the nomination for the federal campaign expected in 2025.  What becomes of his role in Queens Park, does Stay on as MPP until the federal election.  To date Harden has not spoken publicly about running federally, he won’t do that until the NDP accepts his papers and allows him to seek the federal NDP Nod. At that time he’ll be forced to answer why he is making the jump from Queen’s Park.  

Considering he’ll want as much time to campaign as possible, the latest he remains as MPP could be the summer of 2025.  Voters in Ottawa Centre will not support their MPP campaigning to be their MP.  One last consideration here is Harden’s future as the MPP if he does not win the Federal NDP nomination; does he walk away from Queen’s Park before the 2026 Ontario General Election?

Domino #2 We might assume there are not others interested in battling for the federal NDP nomination, but we cannot think former Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney will not throw their hat into the ring.  One very strong argument for McKenney to take the NDP nomination is the ties they had to Ed Broadbent, Ed and Catherine worked very closely together when Mr. Broadbent was the Ottawa Centre MP.  McKenney will have closer ties to the National wing of the party than Harden will.  

Domino #3 Considering Harden does win the nomination for the federal election, McKenney will be there for the provincial by-election that will come when Harden resigns his provincial seat, but McKenney will have to get the nomination first.

Domino #4 Following up on Domino #3, with Harden’s provincial seat up for grabs this will be a hard-fought nomination battle with not only Catherine McKenney, but Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard likely to be strongly urged to seek this nomination.  This has the potential to set up some sort of decision for the City of Ottawa if Menard succeeds provincially as the next City of Ottawa elections are not due until 2026 and the Capital Ward seat at the Council Table could be vacant.

Domino #5 Yasir Naqvi, the current MP for Ottawa Centre has faced Joel Harden before.  In 2018 Naqvi was a popular local MPP running for a party with an unpopular leader and Premier.  Joel Harden prevailed, now Harden is seeking a potential second chance at running against Naqvi as an incumbent.  In 2025, Naqvi will seek a second re-election federally in the riding. As everything sits now (in 2024) Naqvi is a popular MP running for a party with an unpopular Prime Minister.

Domino #6 The Ontario Liberal Party will have to move up their calendar for a provincial candidate.  With either McKenney or Menard on the orange sign though, the Ontario Liberals will still be going up against the Ontario Juggernaut of the NDP.  I say that because I’m not convinced Harden is as endeared to the Federal NDP membership to the same level McKenney night be.  The wildcards for the Ontario Liberals are Liberal Leader Crombie and NDP Ontario Opposition Leader Marit Stiles; The performance of these two leaders will play into the outcome of any Provincial By-Election, by that I mean whoever stumbles first or worst will affect their local candidate. The newly elected Executive of the Ottawa Centre Liberal Provincial Association should have this at the top of their “to do” list.

Dominos #7 to ?? Go to the Federal and Provincial Political Parties that need to take advantage of the shake-up that is could be taking place in Ottawa Centre.  The Ottawa Centre Conservatives have been in a search for a candidate for months, but now the potential for an Ontario by-election means the Ontario PC Party is also now looking for a candidate as will the Greens of Canada and Ontario.  

This one little scoop has caused so much consideration in one riding.  I have either run or managed a campaign for the Ontario PC’s in Ottawa Centre since 2011, the type of confusion that could be coming in the electoral district means every party has a shot at winning.

Let the dominos fall as they may.



March 30, 2024

I could see Naqvi switching to run provincially again. Harden has run afoul of his provincial party. Harden wouldn't make this move if his replacement wasn't already "approved". 

April 1, 2024

Bonnie Crombie would welcome this move.