Manitoba

Winnipeg Centre

Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Liberal), Pat Martin (NDP), Allie Szarkiewicz (Conservative), Don Woodstock (Green), Scott Miller (Christian Heritage)

Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Liberal

Ouellette ran for mayor in Winnipeg's 2014 civic election, placing third, and is now running for MP in Winnipeg Centre for the Liberal Party.
Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Liberal Party candidate (robertfalconouellette.liberal.ca)

He was born on the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan and raised in Calgary, Alta.

The 38-year-old recalls times in his life when he didn't have anywhere to live and when there wasn't food on the table. That, he says, is what drives him to try to improve the lives of Canadians.

Times have improved for Ouellette, who has a wife, Catherine, and five children — four boys and a little girl. He and his kids adore Manitoba performer Al Simmons, whom they see whenever they can.

Prior to entering politics, Ouellette spent time in the Canadian Armed Forces and as a professor at the University of Manitoba in the aboriginal focus programs.

Ouellette drives a 2001 Toyota Echo.


Pat Martin, NDP

Incumbent MP Martin has represented Winnipeg Centre since 1997.
Pat Martin, NDP candidate (patmartinparl.ndp.ca)

Born in Winnipeg in 1955, Martin grew up in the River Heights area on Warsaw Avenue. Before entering politics, he worked blue-collar jobs, including one in the asbestos mines in the Yukon Territory.

Martin supports the local art and music scene, he says. His favourite filmmaker and songwriter is a local talent, Curtis Wiebe, whom he supported at the West Broadway Youth Outreach Dreams Film Festival in August.

Another favourite is Ruth Moodie, who has turned Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark into something fresh with her acoustic version.

Martin married in August and has two grown children. He drives a 2000 Volkswagen Passat.

Allie Szarkiewicz, Conservative

Szarkiewicz, 58, was born in the southwest corner of Poland and immigrated with her family to Canada when she was two.
Allie Szarkiewicz, Conservative Party candidate (Courtesy Allie Szarkiewicz)

She became a middle-school teacher and taught in Winnipeg for more than 30 years. Since then, she's worked part-time in human resources, helping people transition into new careers.

A mother of two grown children, Szarkiewicz is a big fan of the Jets because she's been a hockey mom since her children were four years old.

Her taste in music ranges from Pavarotti to Maroon 5 but she really enjoys watching Walle Larson's summer concerts in Assiniboine Park.

Szarkiewicz often travels to Europe to visit her family but most recently visited Europe when she won a contest through the Evian water company.

She currently drives a Mazda 3.


Don Woodstock, Green Party

As a Green Party candidate, Woodstock says it's fitting he works as a bus driver, helping to reduce carbon emissions and getting to know people in his riding.
Don Woodstock, Green Party candidate (donwoodstock.ca)

A husband and father of two, Woodstock intentionally picks bus routes in the middle of his constituency because he wants to get a sense of what the community needs.

When not driving the bus, Woodstock is behind the wheel of his Ford F-150.

Woodstock came to Canada in 1995 from Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica.

He would not disclose his exact age, saying he's well over 40 but "you're only as old as you feel" and adding that he feels like he's 20.

His relationships in the community have flourished and he referenced his friendship with comedian Big Daddy Taz, whom Woodstock calls his favourite Manitoba performer. However, it's Bob Marley that rings true in Woodstock's everyday life, and he says he's a fan through and through.

Woodstock works with Winnipeg Blue Bombers alumni to host a football clinic every year, which also provides four youth with a scholarship toward post-secondary education. He says his effort to connect with kids in the community is in the hope that through sport, the kids might keep their focus in positive areas.

Woodstock goes home to visit Jamaica as often as he can.


Darrell Rankin, Communist Party

Rankin, a 58-year-old father of one, is the Communist Party's Manitoba leader.
Darrell Rankin, Communist Party candidate (Courtesy Darrell Rankin)

Born in Edmonton, Alta., Rankin has worked as an oilpatch roughneck and roofer, and on and off for trade unions and the Communist Party since 1988. He joined the Communist Party in 1978 and was elected Manitoba leader in 1996.

His favourite Manitoba performer is Sierra Noble, but his favourite song is Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World. Rankin prefers the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the Winnipeg Jets but mostly due to the Jets logo being too militaristic.

Rankin drives a bicycle for transportation most of the year but a Volvo during the winter months.


Scott Miller, Christian Heritage Party

Miller did not participate in the CBC-Red River College project.
Scott Miller, Christian Heritage Party candidate (chp.ca)

Miller is a chaplain at Union Gospel Mission and has worked in Winnipeg Centre for about 15 years as well as having lived in the area for about the same length of time, according to his biography on the Christian Heritage Party website,

He has served the area as a counsellor at Teen Challenge, director of the Lighthouse Mission, pastor of a local church and in his current position. He has two master's degrees, from the Lutheran Theological Seminary and Providence Seminary.

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