Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
A sprawling riding taking up most of the space between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, the Interlake includes the communities of Fisher Branch, Ashern and St. Laurent as well as numerous reserves such as Fisher River, Lake St. Martin and Jackhead.
More than half the population is aboriginal -- that's the fourth largest in the province and the biggest aboriginal population outside the north.
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Agriculture is its largest economic driver.
median age: 34.8
Immigrants: 4.3 per cent
Aboriginal population: 52.5 per cent
Living in poverty: 12.8 per cent
Median income: $14,603
Created in 1981, the riding has always voted NDP.
Tom Nevakshonoff, who has been the MLA since 1999, earned a slim victory at first but landed nearly 60 per cent of the vote in the last election.
The riding has an interesting political history as the site of the vote-rigging scandal that contributed to the defeat of the Gary Filmon Tories in 1999. (The Tories paid an aboriginal candidate to run to help split the vote from the NDP and allow the Conservatives to come up the middle and win.)
Nevakshonoff was also the subject of a smear campaign when a false police record was circulated during the 1999 election. The situation resulted in the convicted of a Conservative campaign worker under the Elections Manitoba Act.
Although Nevakshonoff’s win was relatively large last time and the riding has never elected anyone but a New Democrat, it’s still considered a seat to keep an eye on.
Tom Nevakshonoff, NDP 4,047
Garry Wasylowski, PC 2,445
Franklin Swark, LIB 309
Turnout: 56.53 per cent
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