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Oswald for Preem

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What the heck happened to Health Minister Theresa Oswald? She’s always been a fairly smart and capable minister, but she often comes across a little tentative and jargon-y in scrums and in Question Period.

I wasn’t really sure why there was such a fuss to get her to run for the NDP leadership earlier this month, beyond the fact that it would be nice to have one woman in the race.

Like Curtis, I was kind of rooting for Labour Minister Nancy Allan. She’s fun and frank and by all accounts pretty good at knocking union and business heads together. She once announced gleefully during a phone interview that she was just changing to go out for the evening and was only wearing her slip.

Anyway, back to Oswald. She rocked it today at the H1N1 provincial health ministers meeting.

As the meeting’s chair, she was on the hotseat for the entire press conference at the Fort Garry, surrounded by the mostly-male health ministers and tons of cameras and flaks and policy wonks.

She was warm and plain-spoken and reassuring and knowledgeable even a little cheeky with reporters she knows, ducking us briefly to run to the bathroom, calling out, "It can’t wait, I assure you!" over her shoulder.

And I don’t care if it’s sexist - she looked glam in her red suit. She was miles better than she is in QP or when she’s getting grilled about mundane stuff like hallway medicine or whathaveyou. She was in her element. Maybe we’ll survive H1N1 after all?

I know it’s too late. But Oswald for premier.
 

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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