The three candidates vying to represent Morris in the Manitoba Legislature all say the current frigid weather won’t stop them from campaigning.
"I’m a Prairie boy," said NDP candidate Dean Harder, who grew up on his family’s farm near Lowe Farm.
Voters can attend advance polls from Jan. 18 to 25, and election day is scheduled on Jan. 28, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
While Progressive Conservative candidate Shannon Martin agreed that he won’t let weather conditions hamper his campaign efforts, he remains critical of the timing of the byelection call.
"This whole byelection is an anomaly from the start," Martin said, adding that the current NDP government waited almost a year to call the byelection after former Morris MLA Mavis Taillieu resigned last February.
He said those who are planning a winter vacation this month and wish to vote might have to use the advance polls or make arrangements to cast an absentee ballot.
Harder dismissed Martin’s complaint, saying that no time of the year is perfect for an election.
"There’s always going to be people travelling in the riding," Harder said.
Liberal candidate Jeremy Barber, from Sanford, was nominated in March 2013, and is eagerly starting his official campaign.
"It’s such a large riding," he said, adding he plans to travel to all the communities within Morris before Jan. 28.
Harder said he also plans to log some kilometres travelling in the coming weeks and meeting with constituents to find out what issues they feel are important.
"I want to connect with as many people as possible," he said.
Martin vowed to don a toque and pull on his Sorels to travel the campaign trail, looking for opportunities to meet with local groups before election day.
He feels that last year’s 1% hike in the PST is still unpopular with many Manitobans, and they may use the Morris byelection to show their displeasure through their votes.
"People will see this as a referendum on the PST and the NDP," he said.
Harder isn’t worried about negative feelings caused by the PST increase, as he points to recent announcements by the NDP government relating to road and bridge improvements within Morris as a good use of the new tax revenue.
Barber said he thinks there is a need for more local economic development and new housing options for seniors who want to remain in their communities.
Morris advance poll locations
Adv-01 - Returning office, Unit 1, 49 rue Principale, La Salle — Jan. 18 to Jan. 25
Adv-02 - Southern Manitoba Convention Centre, 380 Main St., Morris — Jan. 20 and 21
Adv-03 - Elie Community Club, 23 Main St., Elie — Jan. 24
Adv-04 - Niverville Heritage Centre, 111 2nd Ave. S, Niverville —TBA
Adv-05 - Headingley Community Club, 5353 Portage Ave., Headingley — Jan. 22 and 23
Adv-06 - Brunkild Memorial Recreation Centre, 10 Hwy #305, Brunkild —Jan. 20
Adv-07 - Rosenort Heritage Centre, 14 Spruce Cres., Rosenort — Jan. 22
Adv-08 - Starbuck Community Hall, 25 Main St., Starbuck — Jan. 21