Algonquin College sits within the federal riding of Ottawa West – Nepean. Marlene Rivier is one candidate seeking your vote on Oct. 19.

Marlene Rivier, Tanya Molloy photo


In a riding with no incumbent since John Baird’s resignation in February, the October 19 elections for Ottawa West-Nepean could be “anybody’s game”.

At least that’s how Marlene Rivier, NDP candidate for the riding, has decided to see it.

Despite the riding having always fluctuated between Conservative and Liberal leaders, Ottawa West-Nepean is seeing a growing interest in an NDP leader.

“At this point, I’d say we are at a pretty level ground, considering there are no high profile candidates in the mix,” said Rivier, who has run in the riding five times. “Since 2011, our vote count has almost quadrupled. At one of our first campaigns, we had a feeling our usual location would be too small. So we rented a room able to sit 350, and even then, we still had people standing.”

Rivier’s growing popularity can be attributed to her focus on current issues in the riding, regarding people under the richer one per cent. She plans to concentrate on creating a $15 minimum wage, $15-a-day daycare and retirement security for the elderly.

Rivier, along with her party, also plans on focusing on the restoration of Canada’s protected lakes, the clean-up of the Ottawa River, aboriginal issues and affordable healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Marlene Rivier, mother of three, works full-time for the Royal Ottawa Hospital and presents herself as a community and social justice activist. Rivier, along with her sister Shelley, has also partnered with OutGrow OutPlay, an organisation that recycles and resells children’s items, in order to bring donations of toys, books and clothing to low income families in the riding.