A dozen Winnipeggers, nearly all Tories, are travelling with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his mission to Israel. This is quite inconvenient for us because many also happen to be in the centre of the latest round of political speculation. It's tough to ask someone whether he's running in River Heights when he's a little busy gladhanding in the Knesset. The Winnipeggers in Israel include:
- Michael Kowalson, the rambunctious River Heights Tory. Is he thinking about another run for city council now that John Orlikow is stepping down to run for mayor? Or, might Kowalson be interested in provincial or federal politics, perhaps doing the kind of backroom work he did in the area during the last provincial election?
- Ian Rabb, the property manager and addictions expert. His next political move is being watched closely. Will he challenge Jenny Gerbasi again for the Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry city council seat, or will he run provincially against Education Minister James Allum down the line?
- Joyce Bateman, the Winnipeg South Centre MP. What's her take on the rumours swirling about who the Liberals will run against her in 2015?
- Marty Morantz, the cerebral Tory candidate in River Heights in the 2011 provincial election. Will he run again in 2016? Kowalson was his campaign manager, which might make for some interesting chatter during the long flight home.
- Shindico's Robert and Sandy Shindleman. They've most recently been embroiled in city hall's land swap debacle.
- David Asper, chair of the Asper Foundation.
- Several Winnipeg lawyers, including David Kroft and Howard Morry.