Deep River -- For the Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke New Democratic Party riding association and candidate Jodie Primeau, every vote counts and if enough voters flip to the NPD the riding could turn orange.
“The campaign is going phenomenally,” she said on Tuesday afternoon. “I thought I would do well, but we are getting blue votes flipping over.”
Citing a poll by CommAdvantage, a private education firm, which showed if all voters in the riding cast their ballot, the NDP candidate had a strong possibility as an upset. While in most elections not all voters cast a ballot, the local campaign is hoping for a strong showing this election.
“In fact, if 2,000 youth vote NDP and 5,880 former conservative voters flip to the NDP, Jodie Primeau will win,” predicts Doulton Wiltshire, CEO of CommAdvantage. “Don’t give up – show up.”
According to a release from the NDP, the poll found Ms. Primeau is running a tight campaign with the strongest ground game anyone has put up against incumbent Cheryl Gallant, the Conservative candidate, in 20 years. They state the NDP candidate has the potential to win if everyone who wants change and real leadership at the federal level shows up on election day and votes for Ms. Primeau.
Describing herself as a progressive candidate, she said she is really pleased to see the reception her campaign has been receiving across the riding. Not only are some Conservative and Liberal voters shifting to the NPD, but there is a strong resonance with young people.
“This year in particular they are looking for an inclusive, accessible candidate,” she said.
Easily one of the most visible candidates in the election, Ms. Primeau was at the Renfrew Fair on the weekend and has been doing "pop-up" stops around the riding during a campaign which has been very unusual due to COVID restrictions. She also has participated in a variety of question and answer times dealing with local issues and was looking forward to a debate this week.
Running a very high energy campaign, this is very similar to her life. She runs a successful law practice in Deep River, is a single mom of a young daughter and a competitive triathlete. She noted she is able to run with the support of her work colleagues, campaign team and nanny, to name a few.
“By working together as a team, we are making the impossible happen,” she said.
Having fun on the campaign trail has been part of her mantra and many of her pictures show her hamming it up, but there is another side to her.
“I’m also very stubborn, competitive and dedicated,” she said.
In meeting people in the riding, she has seen they are concerned about the Ottawa Valley not falling behind and they are worried this is happening with the current representation federally.
“Seniors find the other parties don’t speak to their issues of affordability,” she said.
Students are telling her they want a positive world which deals with climate action, she said.
“And people don’t want to be left behind in finding a health provider,” she said.
As well, as she juggled with the uncertainties of cell service while chatting to the Leader, she said accessible, affordable cell service is crucial in our area.
As part of her campaign, she has addressed issues which affect the area including access to medical care, support for the military and veterans and support for AECL, including the re-nationalization of those assets at Chalk River.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader