Transcona MLA Daryl Reid latest NDPer not seeking re-election
Speaker of the House Daryl Reid joins the growing list of New Democrats not running again
NDP MLA Daryl Reid is the latest in a string of veteran New Democrats to announce he will not seek re-election in the 2016 provincial election.
Reid made his departure official at his constituency office at 10 a.m. Monday. He was first elected to the legislature in 1990.
"Together, we've been able to build up our health care services, reduce class sizes and hire more teachers and create good jobs here in our community," Reid said in a statement. "I have been honoured to represent the people of Transcona and earn their trust for the last 26 years."
His exit is the latest in a long list of veteran New Democrats who have announced they will not seek re-election, including Theresa Oswald.
Oswald was the NDP MLA who challenged Greg Selinger for the NDP Leadership in March 2015.
Since Selinger clung to power, Oswald and some of her supporters, including Southdale MLA Erin Selby and Dauphin MLA Stan Struthers have quit politics.
Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh and former finance minister Jennifer Howard were both confirmed candidates for the 2016 provincial election, but shocked the party and bowed out of the race.
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Premier Greg Selinger has been at many of the farewell events for the MLA's leaving the race, but was not at Reid's.
"He has always made sure that the voices of the people of Transcona were heard in the legislature," said Selinger in a statement. "I thank him for those years of service, and wish him all the best going forward."
Burkowski seeking nomination
Longtime Winnipeg Pride organizer Barb Burkowski will seek the NDP nomination in Transcona. The party says she is expected to run uncontested on March 4.
"Growing up in Transcona has afforded me an incredible sense of community that has carried me into communities such as rugby and pipe band and ultimately the gay community and has really developed my sense of taking part in things that matter to people," said Burkowski, who does not currently live in the constituency.
To date, 12 New Democrats who were elected or re-elected in 2011 are not running again this year.
As of Monday, the NDP has 35 candidates nominated. The provincial Liberals have 37 candidates and the Progressive Conservatives have a full slate of 57 candidates finalized.
Royce Koop, an associate professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba, said the NDP faces challenges given its low ranking in recent opinion polls.
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"The NDP has a problem in terms of its nomination. There's an expectation that the party is not going to win, given where it is in the polls, and so they're having trouble finding candidates that are actually willing to run if there's a chance that they won't be able to win in their own seats," he said.
"Not many people want to run as sacrificial lambs, so you can really only get strong party people that want to do that."
But Burkowski, who currently works at Nine Circles Community Health Centre, said she is not worried about the NDP's fortunes, even with 12 sitting MLAs departing this year.
"There's, I believe, nine or 10 new people that are coming in. It creates some renewal to the party — some inner change that's really quite exciting. There's such a good record of developing of people," she said.
Meanwhile, two key NDP nomination meetings are coming up: party Leader Greg Selinger's is set for March 6, while longtime cabinet minister Steve Ashton will have his nomination meeting on Feb. 27.
With files from CBC News