Dave Gaudreau won't be disciplined over caucus frustration, Selinger says
Frustrated New Democrat was expressing his views at caucus meeting, premier says
NDP Leader Greg Selinger says MLA Dave Gaudreau won't be disciplined over a recent incident in which he raised concerns about the premier's unpopularity.
Sources told CBC News Gaudreau, NDP MLA for St. Norbert, left a caucus meeting in anger last Wednesday after he told party members he was getting a lot of negative comments about Selinger while campaigning.
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Speaking to reporters after the annual Breakfast with the Premier on Monday, Selinger said caucus is "a place where people express their views," which was what Gaudreau was doing.
Gaudreau said Monday he left early as a result of that conversation.
"It's a room where we're supposed to be free to vent our frustrations and what's going on. I mean you know me I'm passionate about my area," he said.
Royce Koop, a political scientist at the University of Manitoba, said Gaudreau's open dissent could be a sign the NDP is imploding and members have not accepted Selinger as leader.
"It shows that things haven't been solved ... feelings of dissatisfaction haven't totally been addressed by the premier," said Koop.
"What this suggests is that they could lose very badly."
On Saturday, Gaudreau said he did not leave the meeting out of anger, he left because he was not feeling well.
"Our caucus is a place where we talk to each other and sometimes express frustrations. That's what happened," he said in a statement to CBC.
Gaudreau confirmed Monday he is concerned about the NDP leader's popularity.
"I was just hearing that people were not happy with him overall on the doorstep," he said.
New NDP campaign ad revealed
Selinger unveiled his party's newest campaign ad during Monday's breakfast event, which brought about 250 people to The Met in downtown Winnipeg.
"We've made tremendous progress in this province over the last 16 years: better schools, better hospitals, more doctors, more nurses, teachers with smaller class sizes," he says in the two-minute video, titled Greg Selinger in Conversation.
"It would be a tragedy to turn that backwards now and to lose all the things that we've gained for people."
Selinger's speech at the breakfast event, like the video, touted the governing NDP's accomplishments.
He told the audience the NDP is running many strong candidates across the province.
The Manitoba election is scheduled for April 19.