NDP ready to go for next Manitoba election whenever it's called, leader tells party faithful

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew said his party is ready for the next provincial election — and he has the candidates to prove it.

"If you have a million dollars, I say, don't give that million to a billionaire": NDP leader Wab Kinew

NDP leader Wab Kinew speaks after introducing many of the candidates his party will be running in the next provincial election, slated for October 2023. (Ian Froese/CBC)

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew said his party is ready for the next provincial election — and he has the candidates to prove it.

During his speech to party faithful on Friday, Kinew brought on stage most of the 36 candidates the NDP has already nominated for the election scheduled for Oct. 2023.

"There's a lot of speculation about a potential early election. We'll be ready to go whenever the writ is dropped," Kinew said to applause at the party's annual convention.

He said the party broke a modern-day fundraising record last year and is on track to hit a high donation mark again.

The governing Progressive Conservatives, which have been trailing the NDP in the polls, particularly in seat-rich Winnipeg, have nominated two candidates to date and the Liberals have selected six candidates. Manitoba has 57 seats to contest in the next election. 

Kinew used his address in front of 190 delegates to commend the party's work over the last year, chastise the government's actions but also promise a vision Manitobans will want to support at the ballot box.

He promised a plan to fix the health-care system, improve education and make life more affordable.

Medical centres of excellence

In particular, he pledged to build new medical centres of excellence around specialty areas like multiple sclerosis and juvenile diabetes, to better treat patients but also inspire the next generation to work in health care.

Kinew said the NDP "chased a premier out of office" in former premier Brian Pallister, who retired from politics last year, and branded Heather Stefanson before she had the opportunity to define herself.

He argued Stefanson is on the side of billionaires.

"That's not some hyperbole," Kinew said, going on to explain how some recipients of the education property tax rebate are wealthy billionaires. 

"Call me a wild man, but if you have a million dollars, I say don't give that million to a billionaire," he said. "How about let's spend that money on feeding hungry kids in Manitoba classrooms?"

The NDP has yet to specify how it would handle the Tories' ongoing effort to phase out the education property tax.

After the speech, NDP members passed their first batch of resolutions, including to establish a universal meal program for children in schools and hire more nurses.

Other items some New Democrats are advocating for include banning the use of replacement workers during strikes or lockouts, eliminating for-profit long-term care facilities, requiring 10 paid sick days for all workers and making transit free in Winnipeg.

While dozens of resolutions are up for debate, only a number are expected to be voted upon as the NDP limits debating time during its three-day convention. The NDP is not required to act upon the passed resolutions. 

The party also voted Friday to amend the composition of its provincial executive to reflect multiple genders. Going forward, half of the party's executive must be women and the other half would include men, non-binary and gender non-conforming persons.

Keynote speaking duties will be shared Saturday night by Kinew and Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley.


Ian Froese

Provincial Affairs Reporter

Ian Froese is a reporter for CBC Manitoba. You can reach him at


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