Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rumours swirl around vacant Tory candidacy

  • Print

Four days into the federal election and there are many rumours, but no Tory candidate in Winnipeg South Centre, a riding the Conservatives have salivated over for years.

Late last week, Winnipeg School Division trustee Joyce Bateman was widely rumoured to be the candidate appointed by Tory party brass after Raymond Hall abruptly resigned as the party's nominee earlier this month.

That rumour raised eyebrows because Bateman is a longtime Liberal. She was a member of the Liberal party until very recently and actively supported Ontario MP Ken Dryden in the 2006 Liberal leadership race. Sources say she had expressed interest in running for the Grits when MP Anita Neville retires. Neville is running again this election.

Speculation that Bateman was about to switch parties and run for the Tories was a hot topic in Liberal circles over the weekend, and several Liberals tried to reach her to dissuade her from running.

But the weekend passed with no formal announcement about Bateman's candidacy. Repeated calls to Bateman and local senior Tories, including national party councillor Marni Larkin, have gone unanswered since Thursday. The president of the Tory riding association in Winnipeg South Centre, who recently spoke candidly about divisions within the riding association, is out of town and could not be reached for comment.

Sources say the Tories will likely announce their candidate today, perhaps during Prime Minister Stephen Harper's pit stop in Winnipeg. But others involved in the riding association say no official appointment had been made as of Monday afternoon.

A national Tory campaign spokesman said, "There will be a candidate in place soon. Stay tuned."

Earlier this month, Tory candidate Raymond Hall resigned following an acrimonious split in the riding association and criticism Hall wasn't aggressively working the riding. Hall had been campaigning for months. For a time, he had an office in Tuxedo.

The Conservatives have long set their sights on winning Winnipeg South Centre, going back as far as 1984 when it was the only riding the Liberals managed to hang onto in Manitoba during Brian Mulroney's sweep of Western Canada. In the last three federal elections, the Tories have steadily eaten away at Neville's vote, but she has still won comfortably.

For several years, the Conservatives carpet-bombed target ridings with taxpayer-funded flyers that saw MPs sending what amounted to attack ads into ridings held by other parties. Neville was the subject of dozens of those flyers, until the House of Commons outlawed them last year.

Last fall, Manitoba Conservative Sen. Don Plett issued a newsletter to voters in Winnipeg South Centre that also attacked Neville for voting against Conservative crime bills.

Neville voted in favour of most of most Conservative crime bills.

Meanwhile Monday, Neville was working to open a high-profile campaign office in the old Blockbuster video store on Osborne Street, and began calling supporters on the weekend.

-- with files from Mia Rabson

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 29, 2011 A6

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


  • 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 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 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.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


2015 Winnipeg City Budget Highlights with Aldo Santin

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think the CMHR made the right decision in banning selfie sticks?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google