Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Giant-slayer still standing

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THE Liberal giant-slayer is still standing.

Tall.

Rod Bruinooge, who knocked off Liberal incumbent Reg Alcock in Winnipeg South in 2006 by only 111 votes knocked off Liberal challenger Terry Duguid on Monday by a margin of nearly two to one votes.

"The people in this room have worked with me on every campaign," the father of two said. "It's because of them."

It's the second time the 38-year-old Conservative has defended his seat against the Liberals; in 2008 be beat John Loewen by a margin of almost 49 per cent.

Monday night's outcome didn't surprise Bruinooge or his supporters, but they still congratulated Duguid and his team for a good campaign.

"You can never tell when you're facing an opponent like Terry Duguid," Bruinooge said. "We had to work every day."

Many considered Bruinooge ripe for the picking by the Liberals -- the veteran Duguid had been campaigning for more than a year -- but they likely saw their window slam shut when Leader Michael Ignatieff's popularity plummeted in the polls during the campaign.

Also running in Winnipeg South were Dave Gaudreau of the NDP and Caitlyn McIntyre of the Green party.

Bruinooge said his re-election means voters in Winnipeg South feel good about the Harper government and its anti-crime, low-taxes agenda.

Bruinooge, a Métis, has been in politics for more than a decade and perhaps is best known for competing against now-provincial Progressive Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen for the Conservative nomination for Winnipeg South in 2005. McFadyen won, but later resigned to run provincially. Bruinooge was chosen as the Conservative candidate in his place.

A year ago, Bruinooge tabled a private member's bill in the House of Commons calling for legal sanctions against people who would coerce a women into having an abortion. Critics say the bill is an attempt to reopen Canada's abortion debate.

In the Duguid camp, music blared but the mood was sombre as Liberal supporters watched the disappointing results.

It was the third federal-election defeat for Duguid, who lost to Conservative Joy Smith in Kildonan-St. Paul in 2004 and 2006. The former Winnipeg city councillor also ran unsuccessfully for mayor, losing to incumbent Susan Thompson in 1995.

Duguid, hoping for an upset victory, leased 7,000 square feet of campaign space on Pembina Highway and knocked on every single door in the riding over the past 18 months.

Rod Bruinooge

Conservative

18,466

 

Terry Duguid

Liberal

11,029

 

David Gaudreau

NDP

4,933

 

Caitlin McIntyre

Green

754

 

159 of 181 polls reporting

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2011 b6

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