Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
That didn't take long
About an hour after Greg Selinger was voted the new leader of the NDP, the Tories issued an e-mail blast slagging the guy.
They accused Selinger of being untrustworthy. He all about knew about Crocus, the 1999 election rebate scheme and he’s going to harmonize the HST, which will cost us more on consumer goods.
The Tories said they have "an unprecedented opportunity to win the next election" and asked for $20 to start a PR campaign against Selinger.
Sounds like Harper’s go-negative tactics writ small. Am I going to get an inflammatory, factually-questionable flyer in my West Broadway mailbox from a rural Tory MLA? And, if they’re going to attack Selinger for being untrustworthy, will it work? You can say a lot about Selinger, but I don’t know if untrustworthy would rank high on his list of faults. On the other hand, I wonder whether most Manitobans have much of an impression of Selinger at all, so maybe defining him first before the NDP can is a good plan.
But, jeez, give the dude an hour to have a beer.
On another note, it didn’t quite hit me that Gary Doer is leaving until I happened to turn around at just the right moment on Saturday.
I was madly BlackBerrying in a story for the web, standing at the foot of the stage as all the MLA hugged and shook hands with Selinger, music blaring, lots of cheering and thundersticking. I turned around to see Doer, standing in the shadows far off to stage right. He touched Ginny’s arm and nodded toward the curtains and the two disappeared out of the convention hall before anyone even noticed. It was emblematic of just how perfectly orchestrated his exit has been.
P.S.: There are 34 MLAs who could be in cabinet. In a spec story on Sunday, the headline and the story said 36. I originally wrote 35 because Gary Doer is no longer an MLA. The copy editors, who usually save my butt, changed it to 36. But we were both wrong. Selinger (probably) won’t take up a cabinet portfolio besides premier, so really only 34 MLAs are vying for a spot.
That’s what happens when you are writing a story while the convention centre crew is trying to dismantle your table. My apologies.
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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