Drabkin, a native Montrealer who had been serving as chief of staff to Stockwell Day in Ottawa for the past five years, is running against Liberal incumbent Marc Garneau in what is widely considered a safe Liberal stronghold.
He knows he has his work cut out for him in this riding, but he feels that local voters are willing to support the Conservatives this time around.
“The Prime Minister has asked for the support of the Canadian people to form a majority government on May 2 and I believe the citizens of Westmount-Ville Marie want to be represented in that government,” Drabkin stated in announcing his candidacy this week.
“The Conservative Government’s stellar performance in managing the economy during the international economic crisis and the requirements necessary to maintain effective recovery and create new jobs moving forward are of utmost importance to all Canadians.”
The candidate has the full support of Carl Ravinsky, president of the Westmount-Ville Marie Conservative Association. “Neil’s from Montreal, knows our community well, and his many years in Ottawa will make him a strong representative of our constituency,” Ravinsky said this week.
As Day’s chief of staff, Drabkin worked on several portfolios, including Public Safety, International Trade, and Treasury Board.
“Neil’s tenacity and attention to detail, coupled with his emphasis on building consensus on major projects and issues, have served him well in Ottawa, and are tremendously important assets to be of service to Westmount-Ville Marie as their Member of Parliament,” Day stated in endorsing Drabkin’s candidacy.
As a lawyer prior to his political career, Drabkin was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1989 after completing law studies at McGill and Université de Montréal. He ran a successful immigration law practice and was also a federal crown prosecutor. His name would be familiar to many Montrealers as the host of a radio talk show on CIQC AM 600, a well as his many appearances as a commentator on citizenship and immigration law on television and in newspapers.