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Small business owner throws name in hat for federal Liberal candidacy

TRURO – Jaime Rhae Oudemans is anxiously awaiting word from the federal Liberal party.

Jaime Rhae Oudemans stands at the front of her business, Clay Café on Inglis Place. The 38-year-old small business owner is awaiting word about running for the Liberal candidacy in the Cumberland-Colchester riding to run in the next federal election.

The 38-year-old small business owner submitted her nomination package just before Christmas with the hopes of becoming the Liberal candidate for Cumberland-Colchester in the next federal election.

"I believe people want to be represented by someone they can relate to," said Oudemans, who owns and operates Clay Café on Inglis Place. "I'm hungry for that too."

It was back in mid-October when the Halifax native, who has been living in Salmon River for the past 15 years, decided to throw her name in the ring for the Liberal candidacy.

She said jobs are a big issue in the riding.

"Creating more jobs and keeping more of our skilled people at home instead of moving out West," she said. "There are a lot of families in the area doing a lot of that."

Along with job issues, Oudemans is concerned about environmental issues, such as fracking wastewater and salt caverns proposed for the Alton area, which she said need more of a federal voice to them. Farming is another issue, one she thinks the government can help keep strong and encourage more.

But the biggest overhaul with the Canadian government, she said, needs to come from the top.

"I think getting rid of (current Prime Minister Stephen) Harper is what we need to do," she said.

While running the Clay Café with her husband of seven years, Oudemans is also a board member of the Downtown Truro Partnership and leads the 3rd Bible Hill Girl Guides unit with three other women.

To help with her nomination campaign ($1,000 had to be included with the nomination package), Oudemans is hosting an art auction and fundraiser at the Clay Café on Monday.

A silent auction will feature numerous pieces of artwork, and Oudemans says it's a chance for the public to come out and say hello.

It runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Inglis Place.

As she's waiting to hear about her nomination package, Oudemans is also keeping an ear to the ground on potential opponents. Former Conservative and Independent MP Bill Casey has announced his intentions to run for the Liberal candidacy in the riding as well, which doesn't phase Oudemans.

"I think I can engage the young people, and those who have been disengaged by politics in the past," she said about her chances of winning the nomination vote against Casey. "I want to change the way people think about politics by being someone who can relate to real people with real issues.

"Because I have them too."

For more on Jamie Rhae Oudemans, visit

Twitter: @TDNRaissa


- 38 years old

- Married for seven years; owns a dog

- Halifax native who moved to Salmon River 15 years ago

- Owns and operates Clay Café on Inglis Place with her husband

- Was a Cat Country morning host for six years

- Sits on the Downtown Truro Partnership's board and marketing committee

- Leads the 3rd Bible Hill unit of the Girl Guides of Canada with three other women

- Hopes to become the Liberal candidate for Cumberland-Colchester in the next federal election (has submitted her nomination package)


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