Canadian Politics: Riding by Riding

The best guide to the coming federal election!

Prospect Park Press is pleased to issue Tony Hill's Canadian Politics: Riding by Riding, a major work on the subject.

381,000 words! 496 pages! Every federal riding!
Has your opponent read it already?

Publication date: December 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Size: 8 1/2 x 11 inches
Pages: 496
ISBN: 0-9723436-0-1
List price - Canada: $59.95
List price - U.S.: $39.95

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LOOK at what you can find in
Canadian Politics: Riding by Riding

One handy volume!
Answers many kinds of questions!
An invaluable deskbook!

Be prepared for the coming federal election!

Here are the acknowledgements, in which Hill thanks the people who helped. View actual book pages

Read the Introduction

Here is a sample page from the book

Here is a complete index to the more than 4,200 names mentioned in the book.

Tony Hill has written about every Canadian federal riding, and he has visited all of them, except Nunavut. Hill is currently a graduate student in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he has worked in the Minnesota state government.

Send e-mail to the author

Read the transcript of Tony's appearance on the radio with Stirling Faux

Here's what Hill has written about Canada in the past (the e-mail he sent back from a two-month, 15,000-mile trip)

Learn about a new method for mapping three way elections devised by Tony Hill, the ternary map

Here are some maps, created by Tony Hill, of use to the kind of people who would find Canadian Politics: Riding by Riding
a valuable purchase. They show the state of politics in Canada's ridings.

2004 General Election

Change in vote share from 2000 to 2004

2000 General Election

1997 General Election

Change in vote share from 1997 to 2000

  • 1995 Quebec Referendum
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    Here is a sample riding entry from Canadian Politics: Riding by Riding.

    This looks best using Netscape, in which case you'll see two columns. In Internet Explorer, you only get one column. (We don't expect anyone to download Netscape only for the sake of seeing columns here.)

    Saint John

    Pleasantly situated on a double peninsula between Grand Bay and the Bay of Fundy, Saint John is New Brunswick’s largest city and the oldest incorporated city in Canada. Its name is always spelled out to avoid confusion with St. John’s, Newfoundland. Like its island counterpart, Saint John was founded on the feast day of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1604, 107 years after Newfoundland’s capital. St. John’s Day is a holiday in Quebec but not in either of the large cities bearing his name. People here celebrate May 18, the anniversary of the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists who swelled the population in 1783. The largest city in Canada’s only bilingual province is largely unilingual; only five percent are Francophones and only 12 percent even know the French language. The city’s excellent harbour and key location made it an important industrial city early in the industrial revolution. The city has fallen on some rough economic times in recent years, with nothing more bleak than the closing of the shipyard, a move which idled some 4000 workers. The shipyard is modern and sophisticated too; it was not closed due to rust and obsolescence. This contributed to a four percent population loss in the 2001 census. The Port City embraces the waterfront with Market Square, a harbour-renaissance shopping district which bustles on weekends, but it is indeed hard to paint a happy face on a city which has lost so much industry in such a short time. Industrialist K.C. Irving, whose family seems to own everything in New Brunswick, made his home in Saint John. He built Canada’s largest oil refinery complex here. His son J.K. Irving still owns the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and he took the unusual step of disassociating himself from the paper’s 1997 editorials endorsing the Tories. (His son-in-law Paul Zed was an unsuccessful Liberal candidate for re-election in Fundy-Royal.) Louis B. Mayer grew up here, and so did Donald Sutherland and Walter Pidgeon. Perhaps when Mayer made his many movies glorifying the all-American family, he was really hearkening back to his days in Saint John and the impressions he had formed here. The waterfront is mostly industrial; there isn’t much housing lining the harbour. Unlike larger Canadian cities, there aren’t many highrises in Saint John. People who don’t live in a single-family house probably live in a small apartment building here. Housing is fairly inexpensive here, but that reflects the poor economy as much as anything. Nearly a quarter of families live in poverty here, the highest level in the province. Incomes are about average for New Brunswick, but in the bottom quadrant nationally. With the depression in traditional parts of the economy, the service sector has taken on an increased role, although that hardly compensates for the loss of industrial jobs. One in eight people here works in health care. Canada’s first industrial exhibition was held here in 1851. The city is now home to the Atlantic National Exhibition. The city was recently amalgamated with all of Saint John County.

    The city is home to the believe-it-or-not Reversing Falls, which run upstream twice daily, and the city’s politics sometimes run backwards too. Saint John is a heavily Tory riding with an occasional contrarian streak. The riding elected Tories during much of the Laurier era, but then suddenly elected a Liberal in the election that brought the legendary Liberal down. Tom Bell was first elected to Parliament in 1953 and stayed on until he lost to Liberal Mike Landers in 1974. The riding was called Saint John-Albert until redistricting for 1968. It was then renamed Saint John-Lancaster. This was somewhat ironic because Saint John had annexed its former neighbor, Lancaster, on the west side of the river, the year before. Landers lost to Tory Eric Ferguson in 1979 but won a rematch the following year. He left Parliament to serve on the Canadian Transport Commission — which has no small role in helping his riding. Tory Gerald Merrithew won in that overwhelmingly Conservative year of 1984 and served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He declined to run in 1993. Once again the riding showed its contrarian streak, electing Tory Elsie Wayne, the city’s popular mayor. This was the only seat in Atlantic Canada that didn’t elect a Liberal in 1993. She and Jean Charest in Sherbrooke, Que. were the only Tories to win in that election in which Canada’s oldest party was nearly obliterated. Although she might have become one of the key women’s leaders in the country, Wayne refuses to focus on a gender basis. (There’s a little feminist in her, all right: She has a history of crashing the all-male St. Patrick’s Day dinner in Saint John, once by jumping out of a cake. ) Wayne, who remained popular as an MP, faced divided opposition in 1997; no strong candidate emerged among the opposition. Most of the acrimony felt in the election was directed at the governing federal Liberals and the governing provincial Liberals; Wayne herself devoted a lot of rhetoric to Premier Frank McKenna and his caucus in Fredericton. Some of the acrimony directed at Wayne came from gays, who targeted her as one of only two Atlantic Canada MPs to vote against their key issues -- hate crimes and gay rights. She was also attacked for her attendance record, although she said she spent a lot of time rebuilding the Progressive Conservative Party -- and claimed on election night to have been vindicated, both by her own constituents and by the success of the party in Atlantic Canada. Interestingly, Wayne got $3000 from unions in 1997. That isn’t an incredible sum, but it’s the most any Tory in the country got from them. Nearly 60 percent of the former mayor’s contributions came from businesses. Wayne flattened her opponents with a 63 percent win, the largest win of any Tory in the country and of any candidate in Atlantic Canada. Actually, it was the only solid majority in the region. She was 16,615 votes and 47 percentage points ahead of her closest opponent, Liberal Diana Alexander, who was rarely seen without a dark blazer and turtleneck sweater. This was the largest margin -- nearly four to one -- in Atlantic Canada or of any Tory in Canada. Wayne swept every poll in the riding. The newspaper coverage was greatly focused on Wayne, and it must have been difficult for the other candidates to get their messages across. The Liberals ran a much stronger campaign here in 2000. Their candidate was former Fundy-Royal MP Paul Zed, who helped the media coverage become broadened; perhaps his father-in-law being a media boss helped. Wayne was re-elected with a bare majority of 51 percent, but the drop from 1997 that represented, 12 points, was the biggest for any Tory incumbent. The Liberals were the beneficiaries, but Zed was nevertheless far behind with 29 percent, despite a noisy visit by Industry Minister Brian Tobin to agitate idled shipyard workers to vote against Wayne. (There was also an independent campaign against Wayne apparently financed by some business people. ) Zed was also the only candidate in New Brunswick endorsed by the Canadian Police Association, which was seen as a slap in the face to Wayne, who had run law-and-order campaigns both municipally and federally. New Democrat Rod Hill, an economics professor, polled nine percent, exactly nine votes ahead of the Alliance’s Peter Touchbourne, a realtor. (Someone with experience in lawnsigns, at least.) Jim Wood, the only Marijuana Party candidate in the province, had to get judicial permission to attend an all-candidates’ meeting; he was under house arrest for possession. At the conclusion of yet another acrimonious campaign, Zed chose to telephone the winner rather than appear in person at her victory party, a Canadian tradition. Once again, Wayne's $3000 from unions was the most any Tory in the country got. Wayne, who calls Saint John “the greatest little city in the East” has never lost an election since she entered municipal politics in 1977, and it doesn’t look like her streak will end anytime soon. The Saint John Times Globe has called her the "Duracell bunny candidate," which can’t make the folks at Eveready, sponsors of the Energizer bunny, too happy. There are rumours that she would like to get an appointment to the Senate, which might be unlikely given the Liberals’ need to take care of their own in the province. Wayne has re-solidified Tory support in this traditional Tory bastion -- the only Liberal wins here in recent history were the two narrow victories by Mike Landers. Wayne claims former Tory Leader Robert Stanfield as her political model, and she served as interim Tory leader following the departure of Jean Charest. She is de facto leader of the Atlantic Tories -- who comprise three-fourths of the Tory caucus. She is apt to be prominent in the Tory caucus for the rest of her career.

    Wayne, Elsie* (PC) $46076 16751 51%
    Zed, Paul (L) $48982 9535 29%
    Hill, Rod (NDP) $18851 2989 9%
    Touchbourne, Peter (CA) $9306 2980 9%
    3 minor candidates 644 2%
    Wayne, Elsie E.* (PC) $47247 22227 63%
    Alexander, Diana (L) $51419 5612 16%
    Hanley, Larry (NDP) $8471 3679 10%
    Richardson, George (Ref) $15220 3467 10%
    1 minor candidate 232 1%
    1993 GENERAL ELECTION (98%)    
    Wayne, Elsie (PC) 15123 43%
    Landers, Pat (L) 11735 34%
    Boyce, Joe (NIL) 3687 11%
    Erbs, John V. (Ref) 2201 6%
    Brown, Shirley (NDP) 1433 4%
    3 minor candidates 731 2%
    Merrithew, G.S. Gerry* (PC) 16798 43%
    Boyce, Joe (L) 15067 39%
    Meinert, Judith (NDP) 4883 13%
    3 minor candidates 2257 6%

    Some questions you can find answers to in Canadian Politics: Riding by Riding:

    What are the Twin Cities of the Avalon? (p. 22) What is the Royal City? (p. 419) The City of Parks? (p. 425) The City of Lakes? (p. 33) The Wheat City? (p. 318) The Queen City? (p. 350) The Telephone City? (p. 256) The Rose City? (p. 300) The Friendly City? (p. 346) The Forest City? (p. 287) The Port City? (p. 58) The Christmas Capital of the World? (p. 336) The Hartford of Canada? (p. 285) The Garden City? (p. 268) The Dairy Capital of Canada? (p. 291) The Blueberry Capital of Canada? (p. 31) The Corn Capital of Canada? (p. 388) The Strawberry Capital of Canada? (p. 241) The Tomato Capital of Canada? (p. 276) The Poet’s Corner of Canada? (p. 50) Which Member of Parliament was born in Mauritius? (p. 121) Missouri? (p. 351) Granada? (p. 209) Uganda? (p. 380) Tunisia? (p. 147) Tanzania? (p. 365) Wales? (p. 195) France? (p. 154) The Netherlands? (p. 41) Trinidad? (p. 431) Hungary? (p. 285) Scotland? (p. 392) Milan? (p. 201) Minneapolis? (p. 411) Malta? (p. 290) Paraguay? (p. 326) Greece? (pp. 115, 212, 214) Guyana? (p. 273) The Dominican Republic? (p. 292) Lebanon? (p. 188) Colorado? (p. 394) Syria? (p. 234) Croatia? (p. 275) What foreign country was the birthplace of eight sitting MPs? (pp. 163, 200, 201, 206, 240, 250, 289, 310) Who is the only Filipino MP in history? (p. 334) Which MP holds an Olympic silver medal (rowing, Rome, 1960)? (p. 447) What city is the centre of Chemical Valley? (p. 294) In what riding did the Edmund Fitzgerald sink? (p. 302) What province is nicknamed “The Gap”? (p. 344) What was B.C.’s first capital? (p. 418) Which MP entered politics after the murder of his son? (p. 428) Who is “Compost Pete, the backpacking MP who makes house calls”? (p. 41) How much did Casa Loma cost to build in the 1910s? (p. 218) What is the fine for failure to clean up after one’s dog in Burlington, Ont.? (p. 257) What is the former name of Kitchener, Ont.? (p. 283) Port Hope, Ont.? (p. 185) Toronto? (p. 227) What unique contraption graces the youth hostel in Ottawa? (p. 192) How many islands are in the harbour at Sept-Îles, Que.? (p. 74) What place do locals know as KV? (p. 51) CBS? (p. 20) YK? (p. 448) RDP? (p. 118) NDG? (p. 129) Which Canadian city’s oldest section is Nutana? (p. 351) What two MPs for Churchill achieved fame for bringing things down? (p. 322) In 1996, who had more Francophones, Toronto or Sudbury? (p. 311) What city honours Canada’s first female astronaut with a park? (p. 309) What five women put North Bay, Ont. on the map? (p. 306) How many area codes does New Tecumseth, Ont. have? (p. 295) What military figure joked about getting the U.S. to attack Quebec? (p. 308) What Ontario town elects a “Lord Mayor”? (p. 267) What is the buckskin curtain? (p. 343) Where did Joseph Seagram set up his first distillery? (p. 284) Who was elected to Parliament in 1996 to fill the vacancy caused by her own resignation? (p. 262) Which MP served in the U.S. military? (p. 394) What is the most important crop in Norfolk County, Ont.? (p. 259) What father and daughter served together in Parliament from 1993 to 1999? (p. 280) How many Liberal MPs from greater Vancouver in the 36th Parliament were born in Canada? (p. 422) What two ridings front onto two great lakes each? (p. 258) Which riding has the highest average income? (p. 218) The lowest average income? (p. 132) The highest median income? (p. 189) The lowest median income? (p. 343) The most poverty? (p. 132) The least poverty? (p. 236) The lowest share of households headed by single parents? (p. 326) The highest share of single parents? (p. 139) The highest unemployment among single parents? (p. 261) The lowest unemployment among single parents? (p. 372) The highest proportion of senior citizens? (p. 358) The lowest proportion of senior citizens? (p. 452) Which riding has the greatest welfare dependence? (Share of income from government payments) (p. 14) The least welfare dependence? (p. 242) Which riding has the highest proportion of people of Finnish ancestry? (p. 313) Polish? (p. 211) Irish? (p. 21) Jewish? (p. 127) Austrian? (p. 357) Arab? (p. 136) Swedish? (p. 304) Haitian? (p. 138) Lithuanian? (p. 211) Norwegian? (p. 345) German? (p. 324) Hungarian? (p. 359) English? (p. 16) Italian? (p. 138) French? (p. 84) American? (p. 385) Romanian? (p. 357) Latvian? (p. 211) Canadien? (p. 112) Russian? (p. 402) Japanese? (p. 429) Swiss? (p. 298) Portuguese? (p. 201) Scottish? (p. 23) Danish? (p. 385) Belgian? (p. 260) Dutch? (p. 286) Egyptian? (p. 136) Inuit? (p. 450) Southeast Asian? (p. 364) Syrian? (p. 136) Iranian? (p. 420) Greek? (p. 154) Filipino? (p. 333) Ukrainian? (p. 359) Armenian? (p. 136) Chinese? (p. 433) Korean? (p. 225) Icelandic? (p. 328) Métis? (p. 343) South Asian? (p. 426-7) Jamaican? (p. 209) Black? (p. 209) Latin American? (p. 230) What riding has the country’s largest concentration of Presbyterian people? (p. 39) Lutheran? (p. 350) Catholic? (p. 71) Ukrainian Catholic? (p. 323) Jewish? (p. 127) Anglican? (p. 452) Mormon? (p. 385) United Church? (p. 318) Those with no religion? (p. 432) What new city includes the former places Douglastown, Chatham, Nelson, and Newcastle? (p. 54) Chicoutimi, Jonquière, and La Baie? (p. 67) Cap-Rouge, Sillery, and Ste-Foy? (p. 84) What are the four largest suburbs in Canada? (p. 151) What two cities were founded on the feast day of St. John the Baptist? (p. 58) Who won the most popular votes of any MP in Canadian history? (p. 250) What riding’s economy is more dominated by utility workers than any other? (p. 282) What was the greatest port in Quebec in 1620? (p. 66) How many ridings are still conterminous with counties? (p. 95) What is Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s nickname for his home town’s biggest employer? (p. 112) What riding must all rail freight crossing Canada pass through? (p. 330) Which Alberta riding has the biggest share of FBL employment? (p. 381) Which Canadian city lends its name to an American television series popular with teenagers? (p. 408) What riding was the home of Michael J. Fox? (p. 436) Diana Krall? (p. 442) Shania Twain? (p. 316) Wayne Gretzky? (p. 256) Céline Dion? (p. 157) Brian Mulroney? (p. 66) Kim Campbell? (p. 441) Jim Carrey? (p. 252) Anne Murray? (p. 31) Gordon Lightfoot? (p. 296) Pierre Berton? (p. 250) Dalton Camp? (p. 57) Izzy Asper? (p. 323)