August 29, 2015

Portage - Lisgar

Portage - Lisgar

Click on map to see a larger version

Current MP: Candice Hoeppner, Conservative
Population: 85,860
Population eligible to vote (Canadian citizens over age 18): 58,445
Major centres: Portage la Prairie, Winkler, Morden, Carman, Altona

Nominated candidates:

Mohamed Alli, NDP
Jerome Dondo, Christian Heritage
Matthew Friesen, Green
Candice Hoeppner, Conservative
M.J. Willard, Liberal

Click on name to jump to candidate's profile

Electoral history:

This is largely considered to be the safest Conservative seat in Manitoba. Conservative newcomer Candice Hoeppner won it in 2008 with nearly 70 per cent of the popular vote her first time on the ballot. The riding was created in 1996 and has sent a Reform Party candidate, Canadian Alliance candidate and now Conservative candidates to Ottawa only.

It has a mainly farming based economy, with agriculture accounting for one in five jobs. A quarter of adults have only a high school diploma and nearly a third don't have a high school diploma. However it has one of the province's lowest unemployment rates, a median household income just slightly below the provincial average and among the lowest poverty rates for both all people and children.

The riding is overwhelmingly white and middle-class.

Previous election results:

Candice Hoeppner CON 22,036 votes 68.3 per cent
Ted Klassen LIB 4,374 votes 13.6 per cent
Charlie Howatt GRN 2,606 votes 8.1 per cent
Mohamed Alli NDP 2,353 votes 7.3 per cent
Len Lodder CHP 911 votes 2.8 per cent
Turnout 53.8 per cent


Median age: 36.6
Percentage under 18: 28
Percentage over 65: 14.5

Marital status:
Single/never married: 27.6 per cent
Legally married: 59 per cent
Separated/divorced: 6.2 per cent
Widowed: 6.8 per cent

Single parents: 10.2 per cent

Median household income pre-tax: $45,727
Percentage living in poverty: 11.9 per cent
Percentage of kids under 18 living in poverty: 14.5 per cent

Single detached homes: 82.2
Semi-detached/rowhouses: 6.8
Low-rise apartment units: 6.2
High-rise apartment units: 1.4
Other: 3.4

Owned homes: 79.4 per cent
Average value of owned home: $132,412
Average number of rooms in home: 7
Homes built pre-1986: 74.7 per cent
Homes needing major repairs: 9.1 per cent

Speaks English: 90.4 per cent
Speaks French: 0.2 per cent
Can speak both English and French: 7.7 per cent

Canadian citizens: 96.4 per cent
Total immigrants (who ever immigrated to Canada): 10 per cent
Immigrated within previous five years: 2.8 per cent

Aboriginal identity:
First Nations: 3.8 per cent
Métis: 4.1 per cent

Visible minorities: 1 per cent
Major ethnic identities (as a percentage of total visible minorities): black (0.3 per cent), Chinese (0.15 per cent)

Education: (highest level obtained, population 25-64 years old)
Less than high school: 30.8 per cent
High school diploma: 24.7 per cent
Apprenticeship/trade certificate: 11.5 per cent
College: 16.7 per cent
University with or without degree: 16.3 per cent

Unemployment rate: 3.6 per cent
Top industries: agriculture, manufacturing, health care, retail

Drives self to work or was a passenger in car/truck: 87.4 per cent
Bikes or walks to work: 11.1 per cent
Takes public transit: 0.2 per cent



All candidates were contacted and asked to provide short answers to a standard list of questions and a photograph. The responses we have received are below:

Mohamed Alli, New Democratic Party

Mohamed Alli photo

Career: Distribution centre associate

Education: Labour Studies Diploma (University of Manitoba)

Where did you grow up? Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Where do you live now? The Maples, in Winnipeg

Hobbies/volunteer work: I enjoy reading, riding and hiking and volunteering in the Maples community.

Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): The Canadian Wheat Board is the most important issue in this riding. It should always be run by farmers, for farmers. Harper has tried to destroy and should listen to farmers instead.

Favourite book and why: The Merchant of Venice is my favourite because it's creative and cunning.


Jerome Dondo, Christian Heritage Party of Canada

Jerome Dondo photo

Career: Self-employed working with First Nation reserve chief & councils to manage band funds

Education: Certified General Accountant

Where did you grow up? St. Claude

Where do you live now? Treherne

Hobbies/volunteer work: Spending time with my wife and six children and geocaching.

Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): The riding is large and it is hard to nail a top issue. For many, it is the survival of the farming industry and health care. For First Nation reserves, it is funding and problems associated with the department of Indian and Northern Affairs. My position is that government needs to look at what we are doing and make it stronger in all areas by involving appropriate stakeholders.

Favourite book and why: The Bible. It is a fascinating book where we can learn history, life lessons, future events, and something new every time I read it.


Matthew Friesen, Green Party of Canada

Matthew Friesen photo

Career: I am a fabrication welder at Sperling Industries Ltd. I have worked in heavy industry and agriculture most of my life.

Education: I graduated grade 12...barely. Life has provided quite the education since.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in the small village of Reinland, four miles northeast of the Walhalla border crossing.

Where do you live now? For the last five years, my family and I have enjoyed the lovely town of Miami, and we have no plans of leaving.

Hobbies/volunteer work: My favorite use of time is being with my wife and son. Together we enjoy hunting, target shooting, gardening, reading, walking and playing crib.

Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): Lack open, honest, democratic government from the Conservative party. My position: Democracy is under attack in Canada; we Greens will restore it.

Favourite book and why: A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solyenitzen. The writing is so vivid you are transported into the charcter's life.


Twitter: PL_GreenParty or Matthew_Friesen

M.J. Willard, Liberal Party of Canada

Victor Andres photo

Career: Physician, veterinarian

Education: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, MD, 2 Bachelor's degrees, one in Wildlife Conservation and one in Animal Science, Masters degree in Education

Where did you grow up? Lebanon, MO, USA (population 19,000)

Where do you live now? Manitoba (having lived outside of Winnipeg as well as in the city)

Hobbies/volunteer work: Politics, computers, painting, photography/President, Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities, working the hours it takes to get the job done

Top issue(s) in the riding (and your position on it): The survival of agriculture - listening to the community as to the best way to address this; working to preserve services for the communities, as services shrink with the growth of Winnipeg; and raising the issue of human rights, women's rights, children's rights for the indigenous peoples

Favourite book and why: Barbara Walters autobiography--mirrors the challenges and growth of women in careers through her lifetime (and mine)


Twitter: @DrMJW

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

Aug 29 12:50 pm

George Cleve, former WSO music director, has passed away

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

Aug 29 12:30 pm

From basements to mini-tech campuses, Manitoba's app developers are busier than ever

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

Aug 29 12:20 pm

One person dead and three others taken to hospital after car crash in Anola

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

Aug 29 12:15 pm

Steven Fletcher's new book could make assisted suicide an election issue by @mrabson #elxn42

Kevin Rollason | @KevinRollason

Aug 29 12:01 pm

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has lost a former conductor. George Cleve,79, died in California last week. Held the baton from 1968-70