OTTAWA -- The federal riding of Kanata-Carleton is somewhat unique; it’s filled with both suburban and rural voters.

With no incumbent, candidates are hoping to appeal to residents from across the riding, located to the west of downtown Ottawa.

It’s also home to an Ottawa councillor, who wants to make the jump into federal politics.

Customers at the Cheshire Cat, a popular restaurant located on the edge of Kanata and just outside of Carp, are much like those living in the riding — a mix of rural and suburban.

“The needs are often very different between rural and suburban,” customer Dale Kehler tells CTV News Ottawa, while enjoying his lunch.

The issues, facing the riding, vary — from commuting and LRT, to high-speed broadband internet.

“Social issues are a big concern for me. We have a lot of visible minorities that are living in our community, and I want to make sure that they feel like they are a part of it,” says Kehler.

“I think the future of the Canadian economy as opposed to the debt that we incurred over this COVID crisis,” says Martin Pitson, another customer, about priorities.

Head chef Chris Justin faced those difficult challenges during that crisis, like lockdowns and restrictions. For him, an election is one of the last things on his mind/

“I really don’t know. I really feel that there’s a lot going on right now, and I think it’s just something else added on right now.”

Farther down the highway at the Kanata Centrum, issues are also mixed.

“My main concern is about the environment,” says David Smith.

“I would like to see somebody that knows you don’t spend money that you don’t have,” says Rosemary.

Liberal Karen McCrimmon most recently held the riding but she is not seeking re-election. The two-time MP won the 2019 election with 43 per cent of the vote.

Jenna Sudds, the Ottawa councillor for Kanata North, is now running for the Liberals.

“I do view this as such a great opportunity to serve our community in a bigger way,” Sudds tells CTV News Ottawa.

She’s been busy speaking to residents, and says rural high-speed internet and climate are important.

But on top of her list:

“What is most important and most critical in my mind, and what I’m hearing from people, is to make sure that individuals, families, businesses come out of this pandemic on the other side, strong,” she says.

Conservative candidate Jennifer McAndrew has also been canvassing and door knocking — hearing from both suburban and rural voters.

“It’s a great riding, very diverse,” she says, “but you know - in rural, we’re finding that people want strong infrastructure, they want access to broadband internet, quicker speeds. What we’re finding all over is that the cost of things is going up and up and that’s really concerning for them. They want to be able to afford groceries, gas, and houses; they’re starting to hit their pockets.”

Candidates

Kanata-Carleton

Population: 110,960 (as of 2016 Census)

  • Conservative Party: Jennifer McAndrew
  • Green Party: Dr. Jennifer Purdy
  • Liberal Party: Jenna Sudds
  • NDP: Melissa Coenraad
  • People's Party of Canada: Scott Miller