Robert-Falcon Ouellette

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Robert-Falcon Ouellette

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Winnipeg Centre
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byPat Martin
Personal details
Born (1976-11-22) November 22, 1976 (age 42)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Political partyLiberal
ResidenceSt. Vital, Winnipeg, Manitoba
EducationDoctor of Philosophy, Anthropology
Alma materUniversité Laval (Ph.D., M.A.)
University of Calgary (B.A.)
ProfessionAnthropologist
Military service
AllegianceCanadian Forces
Branch/serviceRoyal Canadian Navy
Years of service1992-present
RankPetty Officer 1st class
UnitHMCS Chippawa

Robert-Falcon Ouellette MP (born November 22, 1976) is a Canadian politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Winnipeg Centre in the House of Commons of Canada in the Canadian federal election, 2015. He was previously a candidate for Mayor of Winnipeg in the 2014 municipal election, finishing third.

Of mixed French and Cree descent, Ouellette was a veteran of nearly twenty years in the Canadian Forces and a university professor before his entry into politics.

Early life and career[edit]

Ouellette was born and raised in Calgary.[1] His namesake was his mother's younger brother Robert-Falcon Green[2] who died in 1961 at age 9.[3] His mother was born in Tottenham, North London[4] and moved from England to Canada in 1974 and his father was mix of Cree and Métis[5] and from the Red Pheasant First Nation, located south of North Battleford, Saskatchewan.[6] Ouellette was raised primarily by his mother, a poorly educated woman with a history of depression.[6] Ouellette's father was a student in the Canadian Indian residential school system and an alcoholic who was sometimes absent.[6]

Ouellette grew up in poor conditions, often going hungry, and he once spent a summer homeless in Winnipeg.[6] Determined to change her son's future, Ouellette's mother insisted that he take the admissions test for the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, an elite private school.[6] After Ouellette was admitted, his mother paid for his tuition by taking out a loan she could not afford to pay back.[6][7]

Ouellette earned a bachelor of arts in music from the University of Calgary, a master's in music and a master's in education from Laval University, and a PhD in anthropology, also from Laval.[7]

He retired from the Royal Canadian Navy after nearly two decades of service with the rank of Petty Officer 2nd class and remains as part of the Naval Reserve. He moved to Winnipeg in 2011 from Quebec City after he was appointed as director of Aboriginal Focus Programs at the University of Manitoba.

Municipal politics[edit]

In 2005, Ouelette ran for a council seat for Quebec City Council, but lost by 170 votes.[7]

Ouellette finished third in the 2014 Winnipeg mayoral election.[8] He had run on a platform of dedicated infrastructure funding and campaign finance reform. Shortly after his defeat, he declared that he was developing a business plan to open a Winnipeg university catering to indigenous post-secondary students.[8]

Federal politics[edit]

In the 2015 election, Ouellette took over 50% of the vote and defeated longtime NDP MP Pat Martin in Winnipeg Centre.[9] Ouellette resigned his position with the University of Manitoba in July 2015 to focus on his campaign.[10] After his election, Ouellette was considered a leading candidate for the position of Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.[11]

Ouellette withdrew from the race to be Speaker of the House of Commons after making comments at a Winnipeg town hall meeting stating the position comes with "great influence" over the Prime Minister to the extent of calling the Prime Minister to the Speaker's Chair to address constituent's concerns.[12]

He was the only Liberal MP to have voted against the bill that legalized euthanasia, saying it was against his deep spiritual beliefs.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Ouellette lives in the southern suburban region of St. Vital, Winnipeg.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Robert-Falcon Ouellette 18,471 54.51 +43.44 $78,690.24
New Democratic Pat Martin 9,490 28.01 −25.65 $107,665.59
Conservative Allie Szarkiewicz 4,189 12.36 −15.28 $32,494.32
Green Don Woodstock 1,379 4.07 −2.98 $38,782.49
Christian Heritage Scott Miller 221 0.65 n/a $1,210.15
Communist Darrell Rankin 135 0.40 −0.19 $0.00
Total valid votes/Expense limit 33,885 100.00   $191,132.58
Total rejected ballots 281 0.82
Turnout 34,166 61.41
Eligible voters 55,633
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing +34.59
Source: Elections Canada[14][15][16]
2014 Winnipeg Mayoral
Candidate Votes %
(x) Brian Bowman 111,504 47.54
Judy Wasylycia-Leis 58,440 24.29
Robert-Falcon Ouellette 36,823 15.70
Gord Steeves 21,080 8.99
David Sanders 3,718 1.59
Paula Havixbeck 2,083 0.89
Michel Fillion 898 0.38

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ouellette, Robert-Falcon (June 6, 2014). "Introducing Robert Falcon Ouellette". YouTube. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  2. ^ "England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  3. ^ "England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  4. ^ "England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  5. ^ Nash, Chelsea (December 14, 2016). "Liberal MP: For reconciliation to happen, department needs to go". The Hill Times. Retrieved December 17, 2016. Mr. Ouellette’s father was a mix of Cree and Métis.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Raj, Althia (20 September 2015). "Winnipeg Centre: Pat Martin, Robert-Falcon Ouellette Make Riding Key NDP-Liberal Battle". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Welch, Mary Agnes (18 October 2014). "The Most Interesting Man in the Game". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  8. ^ a b Hatherly, Dana (3 December 2014). "Robert-Falcon Ouellette Wants Indigenous University". The Manitoban. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Robert-Falcon Ouellette wins in Winnipeg Centre". CBC News. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  10. ^ Macdonald, Nancy (24 September 2015). "Winnipeg's amazing race". Maclean's. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  11. ^ Roman, Karina (24 October 2015). "Justin Trudeau has strong slate of aboriginal MPs when considering cabinet". CBC News. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Rookie Winnipeg MP withdraws from Speaker race following comments at meeting". The Globe and Mail. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  13. ^ Indigenous Liberal MP Ouellette voting against government assisted dying bill, 20 April 2016
  14. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Winnipeg Centre, 30 September 2015
  15. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates
  16. ^ http://www.elections.ca/WPAPPS/WPF/EN/CC/DistrictReport?act=C23&eventid=41&returntype=1&option=3&queryid=72c1eb8bd75a4964986c724956f5a358

External links[edit]