Manitoba Liberals to elect new party leader this fall

The Manitoba Liberal Party will vote for a new leader on Oct. 21 in Winnipeg.

Keewatinook MLA Judy Klassen took over as interim leader in October 2016 after Rana Bokhari stepped aside

The Manitoba Liberal Party will elect a new leader Oct. 21 in Winnipeg. (CBC)

The Manitoba Liberal Party will select a new leader this fall.

The Liberals announced Thursday they plan to elect the next leader of the party at a meeting on Oct. 21 in Winnipeg.

Keewatinook Liberal MLA Judy Klassen was named interim leader of the party in October after Rana Bokhari stepped down. 

Bokhari ran and lost to NDP MLA Wab Kinew in the Fort Rouge constituency in the 2016 provincial election.

Rookie MLA Judy Klassen became interim leader of the Manitoba Liberals in October 2016. (CBC)
Former Manitoba Liberal leader Rana Bokhari stepped down last fall. (CBC)

The leadership contest gets underway this spring, with candidates invited to submit applications on May 15.

The contest will include a number of debates and events in Manitoba where party brass and members of the public will get a glimpse of what the different candidates have to offer.

"We want our members and the public to engage with us during the selection of a new leader and to help the party provide a strong and balanced voice for Manitoba," Sandy Chahal, co-chair of the Manitoba Liberal Party leadership committee, said in a statement.

Bob Rae, past interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and a current member of Parliament, will be at the leadership election this fall as a guest speaker.

An official leadership contest website is expected to launch in mid-February.

There are currently three Liberal MLAs in Manitoba: Klassen in the north, John Gerrard in River Heights and Cindy Lamoureux in the Burrows constituency.

Despite high hopes going into the last provincial election, the party fell short of electing the required four MLAs for official party status in the Manitoba Legislature.