Tory MP Joy Smith leaving Winnipeg riding, Jeff Browaty eyes seat

Conservative MP Joy Smith announced she will not be seeking re-election in her Kildonan St. Paul riding in Winnipeg.

Conservative MP Joy Smith plans to publish book on human trafficking, pursue activism

Tory MP Joy Smith leaving Winnipeg riding, Jeff Browaty eyes seat

8 years ago
Duration 2:01
Conservative MP Joy Smith announced she will not be seeking re-election in her Kildonan St. Paul riding in Winnipeg.

Conservative MP Joy Smith announced she will not be seeking re-election in her Kildonan St. Paul riding in Winnipeg.

“To tell you the truth, I just think it’s the right time,” she said. “I want to do travelling. You have to be very careful when you travel, to be back in Parliament for the votes, and it’s restrictive in that sense. I think it’s very important that I have that flexibility.”

She made the announcement from her office on Henderson Highway Tuesday morning, saying she wants to focus on combating human trafficking, her focus during much of her time in office, outside of Parliament.
Conservative MP Joy Smith announced she will not seek re-election in her Kildonan St. Paul ward, and instead will work to combat human trafficking outside of Parliament going forward. (Teghan Beaudette/CBC)

“I’ll be working on my charity, the Joy Smith Foundation. The foundation itself is actually saving lives, and I’m just completing a book right now, and I think I could do more for the most vulnerable outside of Parliament, rather than inside Parliament,” said Smith.

During her announcement she repeatedly referred to the constraints of the position preventing her from doing the level of activism she wanted to do for victims of human trafficking.

“I really want to continue to make an impact on Canada that’s meaningful,” said Smith, who plans to travel across Canada to help train police officers and educate Canadians about human trafficking.

The long-time Tory MP has held the spot since 2004, and won the 2011 election handily, with 58 per cent of the vote.

“I think any candidate who comes forward is going to have to work very hard. I worked very hard,” she said. “I’ve built up Kildonan-St. Paul. It’s different right now than when I started.”

Smith said she plans to publish a book on human trafficking in late February or early March titled I Didn’t Know.

“I’ve had to turn down invitations to Washington, invitations to Virginia, invitations to England because I had a duty as a Member of Parliament to be in Parliament at those votes and do other things on committees,” she said. “Those are important things to do, but for me right now, I think I have to graduate into the other sector of my life … I’ve got another 10 years in me and I’m going to make good use of those ten years.”

During her time as an MP she passed multiple bills related to human trafficking including mandatory minimum sentences for offenders.

When asked if Smith would support an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women now that she was no longer constrained by the party, Smith said she preferred “action” and pointed to recent studies as adequate.

“I’m a very practical person,” she said. “I’m tired of the talk, talk, talk. We have to do, do, do.”

She said she wasn't aware of any names of who might run in her place, but did say, “I think we’re going to have some very good people come forward, so stay tuned.”

Winnipeg city councillor eyes job

Winnipeg City Coun. Jeff Browaty (Kildonan ward) quickly announced his interest in running for the Tories in the riding minutes after Smith's announcement. 

“I’m definitely interested in the opportunity of running,” said Browaty, who is a card-carrying member of the federal Conservatives.
Winnipeg City Coun. Jeff Browaty is eyeing a run for the federal Tories in Kildonan St. Paul after MP Joy Smith announced she would not seek re-election. (CBC)

Browaty would have to go through the Conservative nomination process, and he said he still plans to consult with his wife.

As for why he wanted to run Browaty said, “We see the problems at the municipal level. A lot of it is because of our relationships with the higher orders of government … A lot of the opportunities for funding and a lot of the other bigger issues come from the other levels of government.”

The North Kildonan ward councillor said he had already consulted with the city clerk’s office and planned to talk to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman later Tuesday.

“I think all Canadians are looking for the stability that the Conservative government is delivering right now,” he said. “The terror level across the world is challenging right now and I think the steady hand of the Harper government is what Canadians are looking for coast to coast.”

MaryAnn Mihychuk representing Liberals

Meanwhile, MaryAnn Mihychuk will try to claim the Kildonan St. Paul seat for the federal Liberals.
MaryAnne Mihychuck is running for the federal Liberals in the Kildonan St. Paul riding. (Teghan Beaudette/CBC)

Mihychuk is a long-time Manitoba MLA and has been out campaigning for the Liberals since July. She said she's knocked on more than 7,000 doors so far.

Mihychuk said the main issue in the 2015 campaign will be the middle class. 

"The opportunities for young  people to find employment, for seniors to get a decent raise in their pensions, which they've been cheated on — about a positive vision for Canada," she said. 

The federal election is set for Oct. 19, 2015.

with files from CBC's Sean Kavanagh


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