Manitoba·Winnipeg votes

Civic election notebook: 'Government Grant' Nordman attempts city council comeback

A former City of Winnipeg councillor and Sam Katz ally is making a comeback attempt in this fall's election campaign.

Former St. Charles councillor running in Charleswood-Tuxedo; deadline looms for ballot hopefuls

Former St. Charles councillor Grant Nordman is attempting a council comeback in a different ward, Charleswood-Tuxedo. (CBC)

A former City of Winnipeg councillor and Sam Katz ally is making a comeback attempt in this fall's election campaign.

On Friday, Former St. Charles councillor Grant Nordman registered to run this fall in a different ward, Charleswood-Tuxedo.

Nordman, who inspired the nickname "Government Grant," served two terms as the councillor for St. Charles, from 2006 to 2014, when he was defeated by Shawn Dobson. But thanks to a ward-boundary realignment, the St. Charles ward will be dissolved before the Oct. 24 vote.

Most of the neighbourhoods in the former ward will be incorporated into a new and larger St. James ward, where Dobson is facing off against another council incumbent, Scott Gillingham, who has represented what used to be St. James-Brooklands-Weston since 2014.

Former city councillor Grant Nordman registered Friday to run this fall in the Charleswood-Tuxedo ward. (Rudy Gauer/CBC)

The western fringe of the former the St. Charles ward has been added to a realigned Charleswood-Tuxedo. Nordman is running in this ward against three candidates who registered earlier: 2014 Charleswood-Tuxedo candidate Kevin Nichols, former Winnipeg Sun publisher Kevin Klein and Ken St. George, a nurse.

During Nordman's time on council, he voted alongside former mayor Katz but did not serve on executive policy committee until the final year of his last term.

Nordman is the second former councillor attempting a comeback this fall. The other is former River Heights-Fort Garry councillor Garth Steek, who is trying to regain the seat he abandoned mid-term in 2004, when he ran in the mayoral byelection won by Katz.

Steek finished fifth in that race, with seven per cent of the overall vote. He did not file campaign expenses and became the first elected official convicted of doing so in Winnipeg.

Will Russ Wyatt run for council again?

Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt is showing signs he may not be giving up on his political career.

In July, Wyatt was charged with sexual assault in relation to an incident alleged to have occurred in January, before the four-term councillor took a leave of absence from city hall to undergo addictions treatment.

Coun. Russ Wyatt said he is not sure whether he will run again. (Thomas Asselin/CBC)

Since the charge, Wyatt has said he is uncertain as to whether he will seek a fifth term in Transcona.

Wyatt's indecision has created a political vacuum in Transcona. Six candidates have now registered to in that ward in an attempt to fill the void: Basil Evan, Shane Geschiere, ​Steven Lipischak, Shawn Nason, Chad Panting and Wally Welechenko.​

But Wyatt continues to be active at city hall. On Friday, at a special meeting of East Kildonan-Transcona community committee, he moved a motion to create a city task force on methamphetamine.

Friday also happened to be International Overdose Awareness Day.

Wyatt's motion should come before council's protection and community services committee on Sept. 11.

Election signs started going up over the long weekend. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Clock is ticking for candidates

As of this morning, Coun. Wyatt and any other prospective candidates have two weeks to get into the election game. 

The deadline to register a council seat or mayoral campaign is Sept. 18. Prospective candidates must also file valid nomination papers during the nomination period that runs from Sept. 11 to Sept. 18.

As of the Labour Day long weekend, 10 candidates are registered to run for mayor and a total of 50 for council's 15 seats. The herd may be thinned by Sept. 19, the deadline for candidates to withdraw from the race. It's also possible some candidates may not complete the nomination process.

As it stands, three incumbent councillors may not have to campaign after Sept. 19. No one has registered to run against Matt Allard in St. Boniface, Brian Mayes in St. Vital or former St. Norber Coun. Janice Lukes, who is running in the new Waverley West ward.

These councillors have surmised more political energy is being expended in wards with no incumbents — Charleswood-Tuxedo, Point Douglas, Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry and the new St. Norbert-Seine River ward — as well as the possibly vacant Transcona.

About the Author

Bartley Kives

Reporter, CBC Manitoba

Reporter Bartley Kives joined CBC Manitoba in 2016. Prior to that, he spent three years at the Winnipeg Sun and 18 at the Winnipeg Free Press, writing about politics, music, food and outdoor recreation. He's the author of the Canadian bestseller A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada's Undiscovered Province and co-author of both Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg and Stuck In The Middle 2: Defining Views of Manitoba. His work has also appeared in publications such as the Guardian and Explore magazine.

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