Battleground Ontario: The 30 ridings that could win or lose this election - 2019-09-11
Glancing at the trim, dark-haired guy in the booth at the back of a retail-plaza restaurant in Milton, Ont., a lot of Canadians might have paused for a moment. Not quite a full-blown celebrity, but that face deﬁnitely rings a bell. It's Adam van Koeverden, gold medal-winning kayaker from the 2004 Olympics in Athens, who carried the Canadian flag at the opening ceremonies for the Beijing games four years later.
Van Koeverden is watching the place ﬁll up with supporters who are coming out to a fundraiser for his bid to win the Milton riding for Justin Trudeau's Liberals in the Oct. 21 election. He's a rarity in this fall's campaign—a bona ﬁde star newcomer to politics. Back in 2015, Trudeau's roster of ﬁrst-time aspirants to federal ofﬁce was flush with them. This time around, with the party dinged up by four years in power, what's on offer inevitably looks more battle-tested than fresh-faced.
But van Koeverden, 37, provides an echo of that Liberal spirit of '15. He is arguably the highest-proﬁle new recruit anywhere in the must-win suburban swath surrounding Toronto. Depending on where the battle lines are drawn on the map, the so-called Greater Toronto Area, or GTA, encompasses 30 ridings. They have swung en masse from Liberal to Conservative and back again in recent elections, making this by far the biggest concentration of tantalizingly up-for-grabs seats anywhere on the national map of 338 ridings.