The new riding was created in 2003 from parts of Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington and Lanark—Carleton, and was first contested in the 2004 general election. Conservative candidate Scott Reid, the incumbent MP for Lanark-Carleton and Liberal candidate Larry McCormick, incumbent MP for Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, both ran for the seat. Bill Vankoughnet, a former Progressive Conservative MP who had represented Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington prior to 1993, also ran for the seat. Reid was elected by a margin of over 10,000 votes, and was re-elected by gradually increasing margins in 2006, 2008, and 2011. By the final election held in the riding, Reid's margin of victory had grown to 20,000 votes.
The riding's conservative voting pattern was in line with rural electoral districts immediately to the west of the city of Ottawa; in four federal elections, the Conservative candidate never dipped below 27,000 votes and the candidates of other parties never rose above 18,000.