Couns. Sharma, Chambers will return to Winnipeg city hall as nominations close with no opponents

Two incumbent city councillors in Winnipeg are enjoying an early election victory — because nobody ran against them.

2 council incumbents acclaimed, 11 candidates eligible for mayoral ballot

Coun. Markus Chambers, seen here outside the council chamber, will continue as councillor in St. Norbert-Seine River. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Two incumbent city councillors in Winnipeg are enjoying an early election victory — because nobody ran against them.

St. Norbert-Seine River Coun. Markus Chambers and Old Kildonan Coun. Devi Sharma will both be acclaimed as victors in their respective seats.

They'll head back to council later this fall because no one filled out the paperwork to run against them by Tuesday's 4:30 p.m. deadline.

Technically, Sharma and Chambers won't be acclaimed until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, which is the deadline for candidates to withdraw.

The acclamations mean Winnipeg voters will only elect 13 out of 15 councillors on Oct. 26, when they also select a mayor to succeed Brian Bowman, who is not seeking a third term.

"I fully expect, and I think the public fully expects, other competitors to come forward. That is our democratic process. That is democracy in action, so from that perspective, it is disappointing," said Sharma, who was first elected to council in 2010 and is now heading into her fourth term.

"At the same time, I work hard. It is a challenging role."

The acclamation gives Chambers a second term in office.

"It's not a matter of getting off easy," he said, vowing not to be complacent in spite of his acclamation. 

"I think the work I've done over the last four years as well as the vision I have for the next four years are being rewarded."

Coun. Devi Sharma, who served as city council's speaker during the 2018-22 term, will be acclaimed in Old Kildonan. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Chambers and Sharma join only three other councillors who were acclaimed in the past 20 years.

Former St. Boniface councillor Dan Vandal, now a Liberal MP, and former St. Vital councillor Gord Steeves were acclaimed in 2002. Waverley West Coun. Janice Lukes was acclaimed in 2018.

At the nomination deadline, a total of 42 candidates are running for office in the 13 other wards. Only five of the candidates with competition are women.

11 mayoral candidates

The nomination deadline also whittled down the number of people running for mayor. Four out of 15 candidates who registered to run for mayor did not complete the nomination process.

Idris Adelakun, Rana Bokhari, Chris Clacio, Scott Gillingham, Kevin Klein, Shaun Loney, Jenny Motkaluk, Glen Murray, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Rick Shone and Don Woodstock are all now eligible to appear on the ballot.

Four other registered candidates did not complete the nomination process: Vincent Gabriele, Jessica Peebles, Desmond Thomas and Govind Thawani.

The ballot will be set on Wednesday evening, following the end-of-business deadline for candidates to withdraw from the race.

Notable names on nomination papers

The nomination papers show who has offered support for the candidates.

Murray, who previously served as Winnipeg mayor from 1998 until 2004, submitted nomination papers that include an eclectic mix of public figures. Former Conservative MP and Manitoba PC leadership candidate Shelly Glover, filmmaker Noam Gonick and Gord Delbridge, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500, all signed Murray's papers.

Three city councillors — Chambers, Lukes and John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) — signed Gillingham's nomination papers. So did former federal Conservative candidate Melanie Maher, provincial Liberal candidate Willard Reaves and Shannon Sampert, the former editorial page editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Maher also signed Klein's nomination papers, which also include the signatures of Winnipeg Police Board vice-chair Brian Scharfstein, former city auditor Brian Mansky, Winnipeg police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver and Marion Willis, the founder of addictions recovery centre Morberg House.

Bokhari's nominators include Garrison Settee, the grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakinak, which represents northern Manitoba chiefs. Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood council candidate Evan Duncan nominated both Klein and Motkaluk.

Signing nomination papers does not commit a person to voting for that candidate.

CBC News will peruse the complete list of nomination papers on Wednesday.


Bartley Kives

Senior reporter, CBC Manitoba

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.

With files from Jeff Stapleton


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