Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The future starts now

As council races kick off, Katz's majority rule is in peril... if he wins

  • Print

The race to determine Winnipeg's future begins in earnest today, as council candidates may begin to campaign in a series of contests that together are more important than the battle for mayor.

Four out of Winnipeg's 15 wards have no incumbents competing for re-election this year and two others are also very much in play, paving the way for radical change in the composition of a council Mayor Sam Katz has effectively controlled since he was first elected in 2004.

The death of Bill Clement and the pending retirements of Mike O'Shaughnessy, Lillian Thomas and Harvey Smith mean wide-open races are taking place in Charleswood-Tuxedo, Old Kildonan, Elmwood-East Kildonan and Daniel McIntyre. The ongoing hospitalization of Harry Lazarenko and Mike Pagtakhan's political ambitions have added uncertainty to the result in Mynarski and Point Douglas as well.

Up for grabs is nothing less than Katz's ability to control the floor of council. Since the mayor has been able to count on at least 10 votes in Winnipeg's 16-member council -- his own and those of nine friendly councillors -- the election of only two more left-of-centre candidates will create a completely new dynamic on city council for the incumbent mayor, should he continue to hold his lead over challenger Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

"Anywhere between four to six seats are definitely in play, so the whole makeup of council will be very different, no matter who wins or who loses," said St. James-Brooklands Coun. Scott Fielding, one of five new faces to join council in the 2006 election. "Some policies which were rock-solid in this place will be turned upside down, regardless of who is elected."

But it will only take the loss of a pair of Katz-friendly council seats to transform politics in the City of Winnipeg. A Katz victory coupled with the loss of two centre-right seats would force the six-year mayor to govern the same way predecessors Glen Murray and Susan Thompson did: by building coalitions to support his policy, as opposed to leading a de facto majority in council.

The mayor acknowledged as much last week, when he used his first official campaign scrum to lash out at Manitoba's NDP for trying to claim control of city council instead of directly attacking Wasylycia-Leis.

In 2006, Katz and then-campaign manager Ryan Craig attempted to counter what was then a six-member council opposition by endorsing and otherwise supporting right-of-centre candidates such as the late Brenda Leipsic in River Heights, who knocked off Donald Benham, and neutralizing Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt by promoting him to executive policy committee.

In response, the centre-left Winnipeg Citizen's Coalition formed in 2008 with the expressed purpose of ensuring NDP-affiliated council candidates and left-leaning Liberals don't run against each other in 2010. The coalition had its test run in 2009, when Liberal Paul Hesse bowed out of the River Heights-Fort Garry byelection to allow fellow Liberal John Orlikow a better chance of defeating nominal conservative Geoff Currier.

Also in 2009, Manitoba's NDP amended its constitution to allow the party to co-operate with the citizen's coalition as part of a civic ward endorsement process that has resulted in nomination meetings in Daniel McIntyre and Elmwood East-Kildonan.

So important is the role of political affiliation in this election, some candidates are attempting to use their political independence as a chief selling point.

In Charleswood-Tuxedo, candidate Jarret Hannah issued a press release this week proclaiming he alone in the southwest Winnipeg ward "is the only candidate who has emerged without the need to toe the party line when making important decisions."

Today is the first day council candidates may register their campaigns, which allows them to raise and spend money. To appear on the Oct. 27 ballot, all council and mayoral candidates must also submit nomination papers in September.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 30, 2010 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

  • Sam Katz

    116,308 votes - 55%

  • Judy Wasylycia-Leis

    90,913 votes - 43%

  • Brad Gross

    3,398 votes - 2%

  • Rav Gill

    1,775 votes - 1%


  • Old Kildonan

    • Devi Sharma

      6,490 votes - 48%

    • Casey Jones

      5,027 votes - 37%

    • Robert Chennels

      2,031 votes - 15%

  • North Kildonan

    • Jeff Browaty*

      9,136 votes - 63%

    • Brian Olynik

      4,733 votes - 33%

    • Wendy Plas

      647 votes - 4%

  • Point Douglas

    • Mike Pagtakhan*

      7,370 votes - 76%

    • Dean Koshelanyk

      1,860 votes - 19%

    • Herman Holla

      448 votes - 5%

  • Mynarski

    • Ross Eadie

      4,007 votes - 41%

    • Jenny Motkaluk

      2,734 votes - 28%

    • Greg Littlejohn

      1,989 votes - 20%

    • David Polsky

      657 votes - 7%

    • Trevor Mueller

      297 votes - 3%

    • John Petrinka

      161 votes - 2%

  • Elmwood - East Kildonan

    • Thomas Steen

      3,921 votes - 34%

    • Shaneen Robinson

      3,705 votes - 32%

    • Rod Giesbrecht

      3,501 votes - 30%

    • Gordon Warren

      264 votes - 2%

    • Nelson Sanderson

      236 votes - 2%

  • Transcona

    • Russ Wyatt*

      9,503 votes - 83%

    • Vlad Kowalyk

      1,885 votes - 17%

  • St. Charles

    • Grant Nordman*

      6,166 votes - 52%

    • Shawn Dobson

      4,063 votes - 34%

    • Lloyd Finlay

      1,596 votes - 13%

  • St. James - Brooklands

    • Scott Fielding*

      6,452 votes - 60%

    • Deanne Crothers

      3,418 votes - 32%

    • Fred Morris

      966 votes - 9%

  • Daniel McIntyre

    • Harvey Smith*

      3,251 votes - 28%

    • Cindy Gilroy-Price

      3,143 votes - 27%

    • Keith Bellamy

      2,899 votes - 25%

    • Lito Taruc

      1,824 votes - 16%

    • John Cardoso

      645 votes - 5%

  • Fort Rouge - East Fort Garry

    • Jenny Gerbasi*

      9,359 votes - 63%

    • Ian Rabb

      4,250 votes - 29%

    • Shane Nestruck

      1,189 votes - 8%

  • St. Boniface

    • Dan Vandal*

      15,242 votes - 82%

    • Christopher Watt

      3,291 votes - 18%

  • River Heights - Fort Garry

    • John Orlikow*

      10,713 votes - 55%

    • Michael Kowalson

      8,677 votes - 45%

  • Charleswood - Tuxedo

    • Paula Havixbeck

      4,190 votes - 25%

    • Jarret Hannah

      4,134 votes - 25%

    • Timothy Martin

      3,442 votes - 21%

    • Steve Szego

      1,955 votes - 12%

    • Livio Ciaralli

      1,271 votes - 8%

    • Wendy Lenton

      965 votes - 6%

    • Dashi Zargani

      581 votes - 4%

  • St. Vital

    • Gord Steeves*

      14,960 votes - 82%

    • Harry Wolbert

      3,207 votes - 18%

  • St. Norbert

    • Justin Swandel*

      8,745 votes - 56%

    • Louise May

      6,892 votes - 44%

Choose your ward

The Mayor's Race School Trustee's Race

Make text: Larger | Smaller


Kevin Cheveldayoff announces Maurice contract extension

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Weather standup. Sundog. Refraction of light through ice crystals which caused both the sun dog and and fog along McPhillips Road early Wednesday morning. 071205.

View More Gallery Photos


What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google