Manitoba Liberals win 3 seats in provincial election

The Liberals have taken three seats in Manitoba's provincial election — two more than they had going into Tuesday night.

Liberals John Gerrard, Cindy Lamoureux, Judy Klassen win in River Heights, Burrows, Kewatinook

RAW: Liberal Cindy Lamoureux reacts to Burrows win

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

5 years ago
Rookie Cindy Lamoureux won a seat in the Burrows constituency Tuesday night, defeating NDP incumbent Melanie Wight, who won in 2011. 1:06

The Liberals have taken three seats in Manitoba's provincial election — two more than they had going into Tuesday night.

Former Manitoba Liberal leader Jon Gerrard took River Heights once again, Judy Klassen took Kewatinook and rookie Cindy Lamoureux won a seat in the Burrows constituency.

Gerrard has held the seat since 1999, while Lamoureux managed to defeat NDP incumbent Melanie Wight, who won the constituency in 2011.

"All I can say is it's because of all my hard work at the door, meeting people, saying, 'Hi, I'm Cindy, I'm your Liberal candidate,'" Lamoureux said. "I know my dad would be proud of me, but I did this on my own."

Cindy Lamoureux is the daughter of MP Kevin Lamoureux, who was previously a longtime Liberal MLA. 

"She's a North End girl, and she'll fight for the riding," Kevin Lamoureux said Tuesday night, thanking residents for supporting his daughter. "You won't be disappointed. She's a fighter."
The Manitoba Liberals' Cindy Lamoureux took Burrows Tuesday night. (Erin Brohman/CBC)

Lamoureux said her first priority is opening youth justice centres because crime was the number one issue she heard about on her constituents' doorsteps.

Klassen won the northern Manitoba constituency of Kewatinook for the Liberals, beating long-time NDP incumbent Eric Robinson.

The Liberals were hoping for at least 10 per cent of the vote to get official party status. In 2011, the party came up short with 7.5 per cent of the vote and one seat in River Heights. 

Gerrard stepped down as Liberal leader after the 2011 election, and Rana Bokhari was elected leader in 2013.

'Running with zero dollars'

Bokhari lost to NDP candidate Wab Kinew Tuesday night and declined to make a concession speech.

Instead, she took a handful of questions from reporters, thanking her candidates and volunteers and attributing the loss to a lack of resources.

"We had a tough game. We're running with zero dollars, with a fraction of the resources, with a lot of negativity but we had fantastic candidates, fantastic volunteers. We did what we could with what we had," she said. "When you're running on pennies compared to everyone else, you struggle." 

Tumultuous campaign; candidates lost

The Liberals had a tumultuous campaign, which saw them ditch a controversial candidate who tweeted sexist and misogynistic statements. They also lost five rural Liberal candidates, four due to issues with Elections Manitoba nomination forms.

Losing those candidates meant the Liberals went into the 2016 election without a full slate of 57 candidates — something that hasn't happened since 1999.

The party did recruit some high-profile candidates for the campaign, including former TV anchor and producer Peter Chura in Seine River and anti-poverty activist Althea Guiboche in Point Douglas, but both failed to secure seats for the party.

Guiboche lost to NDP incumbent Kevin Chief, while Chura lost to the PC's Janice Morley-Lecomte. 

Major campaign promises

The party's major promises included converting student loans to grants and expanding full-day kindergarten across the province.

The Liberals also pledged to privatize liquor sales, adopting a model similar to Alberta, where retail stores are privately owned but the government is responsible for wholesale distribution and markups.

Bokhari also said her party would welcome taxi alternatives such as Uber, if elected.
Former Liberal leader Jon Gerrard held the only Liberal seat in the Manitoba Legislature heading into the 2016 election. He held onto the seat Tuesday night. (Samuel Rancourt/CBC)

Health-care promises included a dedicated health unit to treat strokes, mental health-care coverage for Manitobans and free ambulance rides for low-income seniors.

They also pledged to lift an annual funding limit on hip and knee surgeries and to pay for the first round of in-vitro fertilization for 400 pregnancy attempts in the province every year.

The party also pledged to dedicate one per cent of provincial sales tax to infrastructure. In March, Bokhari pledged to halt a bypass planned for St. Norbert and redirect $400 million to repair 270 kilometres of streets in Winnipeg.  

Another campaign promise included setting aside 10 per cent of legislature seats for indigenous people.

RAW: Rana Bokhari speaks after loss to Wab Kinew

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

5 years ago
Manitoba Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari speaks to the media after losing to the NDP's Wab Kinew in Fort Rouge. 1:41

For CBC's full coverage of the provincial election, see Manitoba Votes 2016.

With files from CBC's Erin Brohman and The Canadian Press


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