The next federal election isn't until 2015, but potential Liberal candidates are starting to emerge in Winnipeg, including the former head of the Business Council of Manitoba.

"I recently left my position as president and CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba so I can dedicate my time to reaching out to residents of Winnipeg South Centre," Jim Carr wrote in a letter to party members Thursday.

"Having served as deputy leader of the provincial party from 1988-1992, I am excited about the prospect of returning to public life."

In addition to being a former Liberal MLA and the business council's founding president, Carr has worked as a journalist and teacher. He even played oboe with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in the late 1960s and early '70s.

Tough campaign ahead for nomination

Carr will face strong competition for the Liberal nomination in Winnipeg South Centre, which was a Liberal riding for decades until 2011, when Conservative Joyce Bateman defeated MP Anita Neville.

Karen Taraska-Alcock, the wife of late Liberal cabinet minister Reg Alcock, is seeking the nomination there, as is provincial policy analyst Maurice Alexander.

Carr told CBC News he expects a tough campaign ahead to win the opportunity to represent the Liberals in Winnipeg South Centre — and possibly reclaim the seat for the party.

"It was a Liberal seat before the last election and well-served by Anita Neville and before her by Lloyd Axworthy," he said.

"So I think there's every reasonable chance that it will return to the Liberal party, and that's why it will attract candidates for the nomination. And that's a good thing."

Carr added that people are telling him the federal Conservatives are not listening to voters.

"I think they're unhappy with the quality of governance," he said.

"I think they want to believe that they're being listened to and that their opinion matters. I think that is the most important issue that overlays everything else."

Taraska-Alcock said the biggest issue for her is restoring vitality to the economy.

The current government has not created enough meaningful jobs, she said, adding that voters have had enough with the Conservatives.

Elsewhere in Winnipeg, city Coun. Dan Vandal is vying for the Liberal nomination in St. Boniface, a riding currently represented by Conservative Shelly Glover.