Current MP: Pat Martin, NDP
Population eligible to vote (Canadian citizens over age 18): 55,150
Click on name to jump to candidate's profile
Winnipeg Centre has been a riding since 1997 and has been represented by NDP Pat Martin the entire time. It was created out of parts of Winnipeg North Centre and Winnipeg South Centre and includes downtown Winnipeg and much of the inner city core area. Martin held off strong Liberal challengers in 2000 and 2004 - the former by now Winnipeg North MP Kevin Lamoureux - but has cruised to a seemingly easy victory in the last two elections. Voter interest is low here with just 43 per cent casting a ballot in 2008.
The riding is Manitoba's poorest and the second poorest in Canada. One in every two children live in poverty - an estimated 8,300 kids. It has a high unemployment rate and more than one in five residents between 25 and 64 never completed high school. It has the second highest number of immigrants and visible minorities. More than one in four people in the riding immigrated to Canada at some point, and one in 10 are recent immigrants.
There is a not-insignificant population, mainly in the Wolseley neighbourhood, of highly-educated professionals and is known to be among the most environmentally conscious of the ridings in Manitoba. The Green Party often fares better here than in most other ridings though still finished in fourth place in 2008.
Previous election results
|Pat Martin||NDP||12,285 votes||48.9 per cent|
|Kenny Daodu||CON||5,437 votes||21.7 per cent|
|Dan Hurley||LIB||3,922 votes||15.6 per cent|
|Jessie Klassen||GRN||2,777 votes||11.1 per cent|
|Joe Chan||IND||226 votes||0.9 per cent|
|Lyle Morrisseau||FPN||212 votes||0.8 per cent|
|Ed Ackerman||IND||135 votes||0.5 per cent|
|Darrell Rankin||CPC||119 votes||0.5 per cent|
|Turnout||43.2 per cent|
Median age: 36
Percentage under 18: 20.5 per cent
Percentage over 65: 12.2 per cent
Single/never married: 48 per cent
Legally married: 31.4 per cent
Separated/divorced: 13.4 per cent
Widowed: 6.9 per cent
Single parent families: 30 per cent
Median household income pre-tax: $31,997
Percentage living in poverty: 38.2 per cent
Percentage of kids under 18 living in poverty: 49.3 per cent
Single detached homes: 42.5 per cent
Semi-detached/rowhouses: 2.3 per cent
Low-rise apartment units: 24.4 per cent
High-rise apartment units: 26.5 per cent
Other: 4.3 per cent
Owned homes: 40.8 per cent
Average value of owned home: $110,846
Average number of rooms in home: 5
Homes built pre-1986: 92.7 per cent
Homes needing major repairs: 14.1 per cent
Speaks English: 90.1 per cent
Speaks French: 0.06 per cent
Can speak both English and French: 8 per cent
Canadian citizens: 88.6 per cent
Total immigrants (who ever immigrated to Canada): 27.1 per cent
Immigrated within previous five years: 8 per cent
First Nations: 9.9 per cent
Métis: 7.6 per cent
Visible minorities: 29.2 per cent
Major ethnic identities: Filipino (14.7 per cent), Black (4.6 per cent), Chinese (2.7 per cent), Southeast Asian (2.2 per cent), South Asian (1.2 per cent)
Education: (highest level obtained, population 25-64 years old)
Less than high school: 21.2 per cent
High school diploma: 26.9 per cent
Apprenticeship/trade certificate: 11.1 per cent
College: 16.1 per cent
University with or without degree: 24.7 per cent
Unemployment rate: 8 per cent
Top 5 industries: health care/social services, manufacturing, retail, education, business services
Drives self to work or was a passenger in car/truck: 57 per cent
Bikes or walks to work: 19.3 per cent
Takes public transit: 22.6 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:
Career: Worked since 1996 for the Communist Party. Before that, for trade unions and peace organizations, research and organizing.
Education: Political science and economics.
Where did you grow up?: Outside Edmonton
Where do you live now?: St. Boniface
Hobbies/ volunteer work: Past chair and treasurer, Canadian Peace Alliance, ongoing anti-war work. Four Directions Walk to End Poverty. Teaching a course on Marxism. Stopping the Conservatives from illegally deporting my son-in-law. Building my collection of grandchildren.
Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): Ending poverty, the main issue, will require justice for aboriginal peoples in Canada, good paying jobs for everyone brought about by such measures as a 32 hour work week with no loss in take-home pay, eliminating tuition fees to improve access to higher education, and raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. We can help solve the pivotal problems of starvation, war and peace, and environmental destruction only with the full cooperation of all nations in Canada, and that means ending racism and national inequality.
Favourite book and why: Alexander Herzen's Childhood, Youth and Exile because it captures the struggle for justice in the early years of the Russian revolution, in the 19th century.
Career: University professor
Education: PhD in Political Studies (Queen's) MA in Economics (University of Manitoba) BA in English (University of Manitoba)
Where did you grow up? Lockport, Manitoba
Where do you live now? River Heights
Hobbies/volunteer work: Human rights, politics, organic gardening, cycling
Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): One of the most important issues for Winnipeg Centre is the need for sustainable community development that focuses on people, their homes, their families and their lives. The key to this is ensuring that everyone, especially youth, Aboriginals and new Canadians have access to quality education, training and employment opportunities.
Favourite book and why: Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. Diamond provides an excellent foundation for understanding human history and the reasons why there is such inequality in the world today. It's greatest lesson is that innovation and technology are the keys to adaptation and success.
Career: Works in community economic development in inner city Winnipeg; has taught politics part-time at UofW & UofM.
Education: BA Politics UW 1995; MA International Relations UM 1999.
Where did you grow up? In Iran. Escaped war and persecution at age 17, became a UN refugee and came to Canada in 1989.
Where do you live? Lived and worked in Winnipeg since 1989.
Hobbies: Finding new restaurants and food to try; hearing new stories and meeting new people, sun worshipping.
Volunteer work: Language Bank of Winnipeg, coaching youth soccer, Leadership Winnipeg and a number of local non-profit boards.
Top issue in the riding (and your position on it): Quality affordable housing, neighbourhood safety, lack of federal support for marginalized groups, especially Aboriginal and immigrant communities
Favourite book and why: Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell, because I've lived it...