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To Winnipeg North candidates: Uncle

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The back and forth between the NDP and the Liberals about who Lloyd Axworthy endorsed or didn’t endorse needs to stop.

Instead of letting a well-respected former Liberal cabinet minister and current university president support both his former party and the candidate for the NDP with whom he has worked closely for the last four years, the Liberals and the NDP are tripping over each other trying to prove whose camp Axworthy is really in.

The fact is NDP candidate Kevin Chief took advantage of his relationship with Axworthy from the University of Winnipeg and put out a brochure which clearly was meant to suggest Chief was getting Axworthy’s support. No Chief never used the word endorsement but anyone reading that brochure would think Axworthy had thrown his support to Chief.

He had not. He hasn’t endorsed anyone.

Which Liberal candidate Kevin Lamoureux decided needed to be made clear. So he fired off a cease and desist news release on Oct. 1. When that didn’t really get any pick up he tried again Thursday with an open letter.

Axworthy, who rightly described himself as a "shuttlecock" in the campaign, did not appear to be pleased about any of it. He wasn’t pleased about the brochure and had asked it to stop being used. He wasn’t pleased about Lamoureux’s reaction either.

The Chief camp made sure I knew yesterday that Axworthy had donated over $100 to Chief’s campaign.

Today, after reading that in the paper, Lamoureux’s team fired back noting Axworthy had purchased a $125 ticket to a Lamoureux fundraiser Nov. 12 at the Fort Garry Hotel.

Even though both candidates claimed to want to focus on the issues, instead their campaigns are focused on trying to prove who Axworthy likes better.

And for what? The man can’t even vote in the by-election. He does not live in the riding. He’s influential to be sure, but clearly he does not want to be pushed and shoved into anyone’s corner.

Kevin C. and Kevin L., wouldn’t you do better to try and convince people to vote for you based on your policies, your knowledge of issues, your interest in what matters to Winnipeg North?

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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