Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

McFadyen vows to put end to hydro line down west side

  • Print

BRANDON -- Just months before they begin a titanic battle for control of government with the NDP, the provincial Conservatives kept mainly to themselves at their annual general meeting on the weekend.

The two-day gathering here was closed to the public except for a half-hour rally where delegates chanted "Time for change!" and party Leader Hugh McFadyen spoke, promising to cancel a western hydro transmission line in favour of a cheaper eastern one and vowing to plow the savings into highways, transportation and the development of CentrePort.

Unlike last year's meeting, where the party passed 38 policy resolutions, including a dozen in the areas of health, education and social services, this year's meeting was all about winning the next election. And like a football squad discussing strategy, Team McFadyen kept its sessions private.

"Every party AGM, especially those that lead up to an election, is a private affair," said Jared Wesley, a political studies professor at the University of Manitoba. "They have a lot of important business to do and they're not going to do it in front of the cameras."

The Tories said the closed-door sessions would be devoted to fundraising, contacting voters and ensuring compliance with election rules, but Wesley said they also likely provided McFadyen with a forum for ensuring his troops would all be on the same page as they head out to battle for the Oct. 4 vote. That likely involves pulling the party to the centre -- much in the same way Gary Doer did with his left-leaning NDP in 1999 before the election that brought that party to power. Doer persuaded his troops to abandon dreams of re-nationalizing MTS and to maintain several Tory tax cuts. "If they're taking a page out of Doer's playbook... then I think what they were doing was making sure that the (Conservative) base is on side with what the leadership wants to do in the next campaign," Wesley said.

On Saturday, McFadyen told reporters if elected premier, he would fire Manitoba Hydro's board of directors and slam the brakes on the government's plans to build the Bipole III hydro transmission line down the west side of the province, instead of down the east side.

Speaking to more than 200 delegates and supporters, he said the Tories would review a ban on hog-barn expansion in eastern Manitoba, improve farmland drainage and build reservoirs to save water for future droughts.

He also vowed to "finish the job that Duff (Roblin) started" by raising bridges and enhancing dikes needed to protect Winnipeg from flooding. He said engineers have warned the "persistence of these weak links leaves the city as vulnerable today as it was before the NDP spent $665 million on their failed floodway expansion."

The party is debt-free and expects to set a new fundraising record in 2010 for a non-election year -- at least $1.1 million.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2010 A5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for Nov. 28-30

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Challenges of Life- Goose Goslings jump over railway tracks to catch up to their parents at the Canadian Pacific Railway terminalon Keewatin St in Winnipeg Thursday morning. The young goslings seem to normally hatch in the truck yard a few weeks before others in town- Standup photo- ( Day 4 of Bryksa’s 30 day goose project) - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Canada send heavy military equipment to Ukraine?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google