August 30, 2015

Selkirk - Interlake

Selkirk - Interlake

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Current MP: James Bezan, Conservative
Population: 90,805
Population eligible to vote (Canadian citizens over age 18): 66,175
Major centres: Selkirk, St. Andrews, Gimli, Stonewall, Rosser, Riverton, Arborg

Nominated candidates:

James Bezan, Conservative
Duncan Geisler, Liberal
Sean Palsson, NDP
Don Winstone, Green

Click on name to jump to candidate's profile

Electoral history:

The riding in its current form was created during redistribution in 1997 and is considered to be a Conservative safe seat. James Bezan has represented it for the Conservatives since 2004 and won by more than 13,000 votes in 2008. His toughest battle came in 2006 against one-time Manitoba premier and Canadian governor general Ed Schreyer. Schreyer held Bezan to less than 50 per cent of the vote but Bezan still won by more than 5,000 votes.

The riding encompasses lots of lake country, several first nations and a significant agricultural area north of Winnipeg. There are low education levels with more than half the population between 25 and 64 having a high school diploma or less. Agriculture, health care and social services and manufacturing are the dominant industries. It has few immigrants and visible minorities.

Previous election results

James Bezan CON 23,302 votes 60.6 per cent
Patricia Cordner NDP 9,506 votes 14.2 per cent
Kevin Walsh LIB 3,203 votes 4.8 per cent
Glenda Whiteman GRN 2,126 votes 5.5 per cent
Jane MacDiarmid CHP 295 votes 0.8 per cent
Turnout 57.7 per cent


Median age: 41.9
Percentage under 18: 23.9
Percentage over 65: 15.5

Marital status:
Single/never married: 27.9 per cent
Legally married: 55.8 per cent
Separated/divorced: 9.1 per cent
Widowed: 7.2 per cent

Single parent families: 13 per cent

Median household income pre-tax: $42,479
Percentage living in poverty: 9 per cent
Percentage of kids under 18 living in poverty: 12.3 per cent

Single detached homes: 86.4 per cent
Semi-detached/rowhouses: 3.3 per cent
Low-rise apartment units: 4.7 per cent
High-rise apartment units: 0.9 per cent
Other:4.7 per cent

Owned homes: 81.4 per cent
Average value of owned home: $165,473
Average number of rooms in home: 7
Homes built pre-1986: 67.9 per cent
Homes needing major repairs: 11.9 per cent

Speaks English: 94.8 per cent
Speaks French: 0.03 per cent
Can speak both English and French: 4.9 per cent

Canadian citizens: 98.2 per cent
Total immigrants (who ever immigrated to Canada): 5.8 per cent
Immigrated within previous five years: 0.6 per cent

Aboriginal identity:
First Nations: 10.7 per cent
Métis: 9.2 per cent

Visible minorities: 1 per cent
Major ethnic identities: Filipino (0.24 per cent), Black (0.19 per cent), South Asian (0.14 per cent)

Education: (highest level obtained, population 25-64 years old)
Less than high school: 23.7 per cent
High school diploma: 28.2 per cent
Apprenticeship/trade certificate: 14.2 per cent
College: 18.1 per cent
University with or without degree: 16.9 per cent

Unemployment rate: 5.6 per cent
Top 5 industries: agriculture, health care/social services, retail, business services, education

Drives self to work or was a passenger in car/truck: 91.6 per cent
Bikes or walks to work: 6.4 per cent
Takes public transit: 0.5 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:

James Bezan, Conservative Party of Canada

James Bezan photo

Career: Parliamentarian, cattle producer

Education: Agriculture, Olds College, Olds, Alberta

Where did you grow up? Inglis, Manitoba

Where do you live now? Teulon, Manitoba

Hobbies: Basketball, reading, training horses, and fishing when I can.

Volunteer work: Member of Teulon and District Lions, Past Member of the Stonewall Oddfellows, Former Leader of Inwood-Teulon 4-H Club.

Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): Rural Development which includes agricultural development, fresh water fisheries (including lake protection), and helping small rural businesses succeed.

Favourite book and why: Not counting the Bible it would be FOB Doc by Captain Ray Wiss, MD. Dr. Wiss is an ER doctor from Sudbury who has re-enlisted with the Canadian Forces Reserves and has written a war diary on his rotation in Afghanistan in 2007. Dr. Wiss articulates the tribulations and triumphs he and his fellow Canadian soldiers experience on the front lines in the warzone. His thoughtful narrative increased my appreciation of not only the difficult task the Canadian Forces have undertaken in Kandahar province but he also gives a glimpse into who these brave men and women are. I am now reading his second book which is also a diary from his second rotation called A Line in the Sand. All royalties of both books goes to the support of the Military Families Fund.



Duncan Geisler, Liberal Party of Canada

Duncan Geisler photo

Career: Lawyer and farmer

Education: Bachelor of Law LL.B. University of Manitoba

Where did you grow up? Ashern

Where do you live now? Ashern

Hobbies/volunteer work: Hunting and fishing. Member of local chamber of commerce and Royal Canadian Legion

Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): Selkirk-Interlake's top issue is the deplorable condition of Lake Winnipeg and the need for the federal government to take the necessary action to clean it up.

Favourite book and why: The Russian Album by Michael Ignatieff. My family immigrated to Beausejour area and then Ashern from Volhynia, Russia in 1906.

Sean Palsson, New Democratic Party

Sean Palsson photo

Career: Arborg-Bifrost Parks & Recreation Commission cartaker/facility attendant

Education: Arborg Collegiate Grade 12, Herzing College Computer Electronics Technology and Intro to Auto Mechanics.

Where did you grow up? Rural Arborg

Where do you live now? Bifrost Municipality near Arborg

Hobbies/Volunteer: I volunteer at my church and am a founding member of People Power, an organization that advocates for persons with disabilities. I also like to read and play video games with my kids.

Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): Overland flooding is the biggest issue in our community.

Favourite Book: It actually happens to be Jack Layton's Speaking Out Louder. I think his vision for the country is compelling and I'd like to see the NDP elected to government federally so it can be implemented.




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