Tom Mulcair stops in Brandon as byelection date looms

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair spent Monday in the southwestern Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris, where voters are talking about the ongoing Senate expenses scandal.

NDP leader tours Manitoba riding amid ongoing Senate expenses scandal

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair stops in the Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris, where a byelection will be held Nov. 25. 1:56

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair spent Monday in the southwestern Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris, where voters are talking about the ongoing Senate expenses scandal.

Mulcair becomes the second federal party leader in recent weeks to visit Brandon-Souris, one of four ridings across Canada having a byelection on Nov. 25.

He toured the city of Brandon on Monday to support Cory Szczepanski, the NDP candidate in the byelection race. He stopped at Behlen Industries, where Szczepanski works as a welder.

A longtime Tory stronghold, Brandon-Souris was most recently represented by Conservative Merv Tweed until he resigned in August to take up the top job at rail company OmniTRAX Canada.

But both the New Democrats and the Liberals are hoping to change that, as the Senate controversy has some voters thinking about how they'll vote.

"It's going to make me think about how to support a party that is taking us down this road," said Brian Ogilvie.

"I think the game is changing as we speak," said George Trowell. "I think it will have a huge bearing on what happens in this constituency."

In Ottawa, the debate continued on Monday over whether to suspend senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin without pay and benefits because of inappropriately claimed expenses.

All three senators have been defending themselves with dramatic statements, including new allegations from Duffy on Monday that the prime minister's former chief of staff arranged for two cheques to cover his legal fees and expenses.

Trudeau has visited area twice

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has already visited the Brandon area twice in the past month, most recently to meet with Rolf Dinsdale, his party's candidate.

Larry Maguire, a provincial politician, is the Conservative candidate in Brandon-Souris.

Despite the ongoing drama in Ottawa over the Senate controversy, some voters like Isabel Zarn say they don't think the current situation in Ottawa will change the longtime Tory riding.

"I think it will still come out Conservative," Zarn said.

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