Manitoba

Gordon Giesbrecht turns down debate at U of M, where he teaches

Gordon Giesbrecht, the Conservative candidate in Winnipeg South who has declined interviews since his anti-abortion video surfaced this week, will be a no-show at his own university's debate set for Oct. 5.
Gordon Giesbrecht, who teaches at the University of Manitoba, won't take part in an all-candidates' debate on issues in the federal election, the University of Manitoba Students Union says. (Submitted by Gordon Giesbrecht)

Gordon Giesbrecht, the Conservative candidate in Winnipeg South who has declined interviews since his anti-abortion video surfaced this week, will be a no-show at his own university's debate set for Oct. 5. 

The University of Manitoba Students' Union and the university's Faculty Association organized the all candidates' issues event.

Giesbrecht, who teaches in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, is popularly known as "Professor Popsicle" for his research on human responses to extreme environments.

"I am disappointed that Gordon Giesbrecht has declined our invitation given that he is a faculty member of the University of Manitoba," said UMSU's Astitwa Thapa in a news release. "As an incubator for research and innovation, the University and the students deserve a conversation on the federal government's role in post-secondary education."

He said Giesbrecht's campaign manager, Olivia Baldwin-Valainis, told organizers Giesbrecht was unavailable to attend a debate before the election "at any time."

Both UMSU and UMFA wanted to give students and faculty the chance to hear from the candidates vying to represent the university and Winnipeg South in Ottawa.

Candidates from the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Green Party have accepted the invitation.

Giesbrecht's campaign manager has told CBC he is busy knocking on doors and can't accommodate requests for interviews. 

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