Algonquin College sits within the federal riding of Ottawa West – Nepean. Anita Vendenbeld is one cadidate seeking your vote on Oct. 19.

Anita Vandenbeld, contributed photo

Nepean’s Liberal candidate, Anita Vandenbeld, could be the first non-Conservative politician to hold a spot in the Ottawa West-Nepean riding in almost a decade, following incumbent John Baird’s resignation from the House of Commons on March 16, 2015.

Vandenbeld is running against Conservative candidate Abdul Abdi, New Democratic candidate Marlene Rivier, Green party candidate Mark Brooks and Christian Heritage candidate Rod Taylor.

Vandenbeld, who has a Master’s degree in Canadian Politics and Constitutional History from York University and an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from the University of Calgary, is an expert in international democratic development.

Focusing on parliamentary development, political parties and womens’ political participation, Vandenbeld is an independent global consultant. She works as a senior advisor for the United Nations. She travels the world and spreads the word about Canadian democracy.

Vandenbeld, who was born and raised in Alberta, currently lives in the Ottawa West-Nepean riding with her husband and her stepdaughter.

“We have been very Blue (Conservative) for three terms now,” said Carleton student and riding resident Jamar Levi Murphy. “I think it’s time for a change.”

There has not been a Liberal leader in the Ottawa West-Nepean area since 2004. In others words, nine years of Conservative rule.

In 2006, Canada’s current Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird ran for the Ottawa West-Nepean seat and won convincingly over his opponent. Baird then held onto the seat until he resigned in 2015.

Vandenbeld ran against Baird in the 2011 elections but lost by 13 per cent, a little over 7,000 votes.

There has only ever been a Conservative or Liberal party member to win in Ottawa West-Nepean.

“In the past, Ottawa West-Nepean was seen as a very Conservative district,” said Joseph Jerome. “The sudden rise of the Liberals has people motivated and excited.”