Political parties of all stripes are using star power to boost their candidates' profiles in an upcoming federal byelection in Winnipeg.
Over the weekend, federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and party bigwigs Bob Rae and Ken Dryden campaigned for Kevin Lamoureux, a former MLA who is taking a run at the vacant federal seat for Winnipeg North.
The byelection is Nov. 29.
Ignatieff, speaking on Sunday to party faithful at the Polish Fraternal Aid Society, touted Lamoureux as a good fit with the national party.
"It's not just about Winnipeg North. It's about showing strength in Western Canada. It's about getting a guy who's got a fantastic record of serving the people of Winnipeg North into the House of Commons of Canada," Ignatieff said.
Lamoureux, former MLA for Inkster in northwest Winnipeg, won the party nomination in June.
"Winnipeg North is an area of high need and we need to be at the government table. And at the end of the day, our support is solid — we've identified the number of votes that's required to win," he said, exuding confidence in his chances in a riding that has been an NDP stronghold.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who has held the seat since 1997, resigned to run for mayor in Winnipeg, but lost the Oct. 27 vote to incumbent Sam Katz.
The Liberals held the seat from 1988 until 1997, but it was New Democrat territory from 1962 to 1988.
Wasylycia-Leis won the seat in 2008 by a landslide with more than 14,000 votes. The Conservatives received 5,000 while the Liberals received just 2,000.
NDP Leader Jack Layton and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have also toured the riding with their candidates in the past several days.
The NDP has nominated Kevin Chief as its candidate. The Conservative candidate is Julie Javier.