Arthur-Virden byelection campaign hampered by winter weather
Voters in two Manitoba ridings will choose new MLAs in provincial byelections tomorrow, but harsh winter weather has made campaigning a challenge for candidates in at least one riding, Arthur-Virden.
Check out our byelection page for voting information, details about the candidates, and live results after the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Frigid temperatures, ice-slicked highways and tall snow drifts have made it difficult for candidates in Arthur-Virden to reach voters in advance of Tuesday's byelection.
"We lost probably at least half of our signs during the 100 kilometre an hour winds," said Floyd Buhler, the Liberal candidate in the riding.
"It's been slip and slide and sort of played havoc with election mode," said Bob Senff, who is running for the New Democrats.
Arthur-Virden, located in southwestern Manitoba, has been without an MLA since Progressive Conservative Larry Maguire resigned to run for — and successfully win — the federal byelection in Brandon-Souris in November.
PC candidate Doyle Piwniuk said Premier Greg Selinger's decision to call a byelection in the middle of winter was a matter of strategy.
"A lot of people, seniors, are down south and a lot of them would probably vote Conservative," he said.
Green Party candidate Kate Storey agrees that calling the byelection in January was a strategic move on the part of the NDP government.
"I do think that this government has timed this election very carefully for low turnout, and I think all the parties do that," she said.
"That really shows the flaw in our political system."
Storey said those voters who aren't on vacation probably won't be talking politics these days, given the bitter cold and snowy weather.
Voters in Arthur-Virden have voted Progressive Conservative for decades, and some voters predict that history will repeat itself in Tuesday's byelection.
"If it doesn't go like that, I'd be so surprised I'd fall off my chair," said Garnet Effler, 89, who has voted in every election since he moved to Virden in 1956.
Voters are also electing a new representative Tuesday in the Morris constituency, which has been vacant since Mavis Taillieu, also a Progressive Conservative, retired from provincial politics in February 2013.
Running in the Morris byelection are Jeremy Barber (Liberal), Dean Harder (NDP), Alain Landry (Green), Shannon Martin (Progressive Conservative) and Ray Shaw (Independent).