Conservative Party announces local candidates

New contenders unveiled for the widely-anticipated upcoming election

Community organizer Julio Rivera will be running for the Conservative Party in Papineau. Photo: Julio Rivera via Facebook

The Conservative Party of Canada just announced its candidates in the electoral ridings of Papineau and Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel, for the now widely expected federal election in the fall. 

Hosted by Conservative Senator Leonidas Housakos, the candidacy of Julio Rivera and Louis Ialenti were announced for their respective districts of Papineau and Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel.

Papineau, Park Ex’s electoral district, is currently held by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and has been a longstanding Liberal stronghold. The seat has been held by the Liberals continuously for over 50 years, with the sole exception of when Bloc Quebecois MP Vivian Barbot was elected in 2006. 

Both candidates outlined their professional backgrounds as well as their respective visions for their neighbourhoods and the country, at a press conference held on Jul. 27.

Exploding debt

“We’re really excited in the Conservative Party,” said Senator Leo Housakos. “We now have a situation in Canada where the economy is at a crossroads,” he added, underlining the party’s electoral message of better economic management.

“We have a deficit and a debt in this country that’s exploding,” Housakos stated, pointing to the net federal debt that now stands at $1.2 trillion, according to Statistics Canada. 

“We have a Prime Minister who thinks that deficits balance themselves,” complained Housakos, saying this is resulting in inflation and a runaway deficit putting “the future of young Canadians at risk.” 

Both candidates reinforced this message and underlined how their respective backgrounds would help contribute to helping residents of these two districts. 

Pullquote: “We now have a situation in Canada where the economy is at a crossroads,”


Julio Rivera announced that he would be running against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the district of Papineau in the upcoming election.

Rivera is the Director-General of the Corporation Communautaire Laurentienne (COCLA), a community organization based in Ville Saint-Laurent with the specific mission of helping newly arrived immigrants from Latin-American better integrate into Canadian Society. He is also a former municipal candidate for Projet Montréal. 

“The circumscription of Papineau needs a credible and authentic leader,” said Rivera adding that he believes many issues in the area had not been properly addressed, including poverty, housing and seniors’ issues. “Mr. Trudeau has not made any changes in Park Extension,” he deplored. 

Affordable housing

Although under provincial jurisdiction, Rivera said as an MP for Papineau he would like to address the housing crisis in the area, which is resulting in the eviction and displacement of many residents.

“The issues that I would address in Papineau is lack of access to housing,” he stated, adding that the current situation makes it so “most low-income families can’t find adequate lodging.”

“As a federal MP, I would have the power to ask Ottawa to unblock funds to help build more affordable housing,” said Rivera, adding that he would work in conjunction with municipal and provincial governments to help the most vulnerable in Park Ex. 

“I am ready to support this issue because people need a better quality of life,” he added. 

Inflation and the housing market

As for the next-door circumscription of Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel, it is Montreal-born businessman Louis Ialenti who will be taking up the conservative party candidacy.

Ialenti added that issues like the housing crisis could be addressed through Conservative-style economic policy. He explained that problems such as inflation negatively affect peoples’ ability to move from being renters to home-buyers.

“I see when fiscal and economic issues aren’t managed correctly, its people like my mother, like my father, like new immigrants who suffer the most,” said Ialenti, adding that small changes in mortgage interest rates impede the social mobility of newly arrived Canadians. 

“There’s a lot the federal government can do to turn renters into homeowners,” said Ialenti. 

International businessman Louis Ialenti will be running for the Conservative Party in Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel. Photo: Louis Ialenti via Facebook 

Federal election widely expected

As of now, the federal government has yet to call an election but most people across the country are expecting one in the early autumn. 

According to several political analysts, many in Ottawa political circles are expecting an election to be called on either Aug. or Aug. 15, with a presumed election date in mid to late September. 

As per the Canada Elections Act, campaigns must last between 36 and 50 days. Unofficial campaigning has begun, with federal party leaders already touring the country and meeting electors.

Canadians can expect an election on either Tuesday, Sept. 13 or Sept. 20.