Cindy Lamoureux makes leadership bid for Manitoba Liberals

Cindy Lamoureux formally announced her candidacy for leadership of the Manitoba Liberals in style on Friday.

MLA for Burrows hopes to fill space left by former party leader Rana Bokhari this October

Burrows MLA Cindy Lamoureux rides her motorcycle up to the steps of the legislature Friday before announcing she will run to be the next leader of the Manitoba Liberals. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Cindy Lamoureux formally announced her bid to become the next leader of the Manitoba Liberals in style on Friday.

"This is something I'm very excited about," Lamoureux said, flanked by supporters moments after she pulled up outside the Manitoba Legislature on a motorcycle. "I love my province, I love my city and the people who live here in Manitoba and I want to be able to continue to work for Manitobans."

The 25-year-old secured one of three seats in the legislature for the Liberals last spring during the provincial election.

She wants to fill the vacancy left by Rana Bokhari. The former party leader lost the Fort Rouge constituency to NDP MLA Wab Kinew in the last provincial election and a month later, Bokhari announced she would step down.

Leadership candidates will have to put up $5,000 in a combination of cash and membership sales, gather 100 nomination signatures and be vetted by a party committee before officially entering the race.

Cindy Lamoureux credits her father for getting her interested in politics at an early age. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

She credited her father, Liberal MP and longtime MLA Kevin Lamoureux, with sparking her interest in politics at an early age.

The rookie representative for the Burrows constituency refused to talk politics or reveal details about her platform on Thursday. She instead addressed concerns about her age, and how the Manitoba Liberals "desperately need" a leader who can take charge and boost fundraising for the party.

"Look, I recognize I am young. I am 25. I'm very transparent about that.… I do think that I look younger than I am. That might catch up with me in a career in politics," she said.

"I know that I don't know everything, but I do know that here in Manitoba, we have skilled people, talented and passionate people, and I, as an individual, I am willing to listen. I want to listen. I am eager to learn and I am open-minded and I hope Manitobans will see that."

Lamoureux pointed to former Manitoba premier Edward Schreyer as proof that age doesn't mean everything.

Schreyer went on to serve as Governor General of Canada, but earlier in his career, he was the youngest person ever to be elected in Manitoba. He was 22 when he was voted in as MLA for Brokenhead in 1958.

"That is such an inspiration for  me. That is why I am optimistic about this opportunity," Lamoureux said, adding the fact that she was elected is proof she is ready to rise in the Liberals' ranks.

"I think my age is a wonderful asset. I am taking full advantage of it," she said. "People are always saying, 'Young people are the future.' No, young people are today, so allow us that opportunity to shine."

The party will vote for next leader on Oct. 21.

As for the choice to roll up to the cameras on her hog, Lamoureux said was just taking advantage of the nice weather

"I believe in the old saying, 'Work hard, play hard.' I enjoy my summers and part of that is riding my motorcycle," she said, adding she has been dirt biking since she was 10.

With files from the Canadian Press