MANITOBA VOTES: Liberals fall below official party status | Winnipeg Sun
The leader of the Manitoba Liberal party says sometimes you can do the best work in your life and still come up short.
At press time, the Liberals, led by Dougald Lamont, had lost its party status after winning only three seats (13.97% of the vote) in Tuesday’s provincial election.
“Sometimes it’s just not good enough,” Lamont said after the incumbent Progressive Conservatives were handed a second successive majority mandate. “I think over the next few years, I don’t think things will get much better under the PCs, so I think there will be another opportunity to take a kick at the can soon enough.”
Lamont (St. Boniface), long-time MLA Jon Gerrard (River Heights) and Cindy Lamoureux (Tyndall Park) retained their places in the house, but the Liberals had not won a fourth seat required for party status. That status was obtained with Lamont’s win a by-election in July of last year.
Lamont campaigned on promises to eradicate poverty during his first term through a guaranteed minimum income program, raise the minimum wage to $15, vastly expand child-care spaces along with pledges to address mental health and addictions, the environment and cease privatization in the province.
“We set out to run a positive campaign… clearly that was our first mistake,” Lamont joked as he spoke in front of dozens at the Norwood Hotel in St. Boniface. “We wanted to challenge the status quo of how politics work in this province, in terms of tone as well as in terms of ideas.
“We ran a campaign we can all be proud of at the end of the day. We can all hold our heads high.”
Lamont said the party will continue to build, adding that he thinks it has demonstrated that they are a serious, credible party that has stepped up to the next level.
“I think there are a whole series of issues that if we hadn’t talked about, they wouldn’t have been talked about,” Lamont said.
Judy Klassen, who was elected in Keewatinook in 2016, did not run this time around, instead choosing to pursue a seat federally.
Jason Harper, who ran in Klassen’s place for the Liberals, came in a distant second in the riding.
Gerrard will remain in the seat he’s occupied since 1999 when he was the leader of the party.
“We have developed as a team,” Gerrard said. “That kind of team spirit and having us working together has been very positive. We’ve got a lot of young candidates and I, and many of them, want to run again.”
Gerrard said Lamont has brought new people and new energy to the party.
“It may not have translated to a breakthrough, but it’s certainly been very, very positive,” Gerrard said.
Lamoureux, meanwhile, won in Tyndall Park, supplanting NDP incumbent Ted Marcelino after moving over from the Burrows riding she won in 2016.
Marcelino had sat in the house since winning the seat in 2011.
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