Manitoba

Robert-Falcon Ouellette being wooed by political parties

Coming off a strong third-place finish in Winnipeg's mayoral election, Robert-Falcon Ouellette says he's already being courted by provincial and federal political parties.
Coming off a strong third-place finish in Winnipeg's mayoral election, Robert-Falcon Ouellette says he's already being courted by provincial and federal political parties. 1:47

Coming off a strong third-place finish in Winnipeg's mayoral election, Robert-Falcon Ouellette says he's already being courted by provincial and federal political parties.

He captured 36,823 votes in Wednesday's civic election, accounting for nearly 16 per cent of the vote, according to the City of Winnipeg's unofficial results.

It's an impressive showing for Ouellette, who entered the race with no prior political experience or name recognition.

On Thursday, he told CBC News he has been approached by the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals.

"Well, Mr. Pallister did send flowers last night, which was kind of cool," he said, referring to Manitoba PC Leader Brian Pallister.

"I know quite a few people in the Liberal Party are very interested, too," he added, explaining that he had many Liberal members working on his campaign.

Ouellette said he is ecstatic with the support he received during the campaign from youth, aboriginal voters and the francophone community.

His immediate future will involve a much-needed family getaway this weekend before he returns to work on Monday at the University of Manitoba, where he is director of Aboriginal Focus Programs.

As for his political future, Ouellette said the election campaign has certainly opened doors for him.

"I'm super excited. I'm ecstatic. I'd love to have the ability to contribute in some way to public life, to offer a different vision for Canada, Manitoba, the city of Winnipeg," he said.

When asked what he would do if he was offered a position at city hall, Ouellette chuckled and replied, "That would be very hard to refuse."

Bowman said on Thursday it was too early to talk about possible roles for anyone at city hall, but he added that he'll be talking to the other mayoral candidates, including Ouellette, about their ideas.

"Everyone has something deserving of consideration and I'm going to be reaching out to each and every candidate to have those discussions," he said.

"I started those discussions last night with Judy [Wasylycia-Leis]. She's got some good ideas and I want to work with her. She’s put a lot of time and effort into building this city and she deserves a tremendous amount of respect."