Election season officially underway



File photos. (Left to Right) Independent candidate Damian Dempsey, Progressive Conservative candidate Eileen Clarke and Green Party candidate Robert Smith are running for the vacant MLA position in the Agassiz constituency.

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson

Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press

Manitoba’s 41st general election is now officially under way.  On Mar. 16, premier Greg Selinger asked the Lieutenant Governor to drop the writ, kicking off a 34-day election campaign.

This now means that candidates can officially be nominated for the April 19 election. Candidates have until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, to file their nomination papers with the returning officer.  

The nomination papers must include the signatures of 50 or more eligible voters in the electoral division in which the candidate wishes to run.

Regardless of which party is elected, there will be many new faces heading to the Legislature following the election. In the Agassiz constituency, Progressive Conservative (PC) MLA Stu Briese announced in 2014 that he wouldn’t be running in the 41st election.  Last year, Eileen Clarke won the nomination to represent the PC party in this spring’s election.  So far, she will be joined on the ballot by independent candidate Damian Dempsey and Green Party of Manitoba candidate Robert Smith. 

On March 24, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Neepawa & District Chamber of Commerce and NACTV will be hosting an all candidates forum at the Roxy Theatre. The event is open to all and questions will be allowed from the floor as well as from telephone callers. Individuals can contact the Chamber office for more information or so submit questions should they be unable to attend.

In the Riding Mountain constituency, long-time MLA Leanne Rowat also announced that she wouldn’t be running in this election.  So far, Jordan Fleury (Liberal)  and Greg Nesbitt (PC) are running for the seat.

In the Spruce Woods constituency, Cliff Cullen (PC) will be campaigning for re-election against independent candidate Malcolm McKellar.

In the Dauphin constituency, Darrell Inkster (independant), Bradley Michaleski (PC), Darcy Scheller (NDP) and Kate Storey (Green) will be vying for retiring MLA Stan Struthers' (NDP) seat.

For more information, visit the Elections Manitoba website at www.electionsmanitoba.ca or download the mobile app, Manitoba Votes 2016.

The last general election was held October 4, 2011, and 55.8 per cent of Manitobans cast a ballot.