Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
An old riding with some seriously changed boundaries in this election, La Verendrye now takes up the entire southeastern corner of Manitoba.
It includes much of Whiteshell provincial park and its touristy cottage country, as well as the rich agricultural areas in the southeast. The communities include Stuartburn, Grunthal, Sprague, La Broquerie and Hadashville.
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La Verendrye is sort of in the middle of the pack when it comes to income and poverty rates, and the number of immigrants.
While the previous riding had a large francophone population, the new riding no longer does as most of the French-speaking communities ended up in Dawson Trail.
While more than one in 10 residents were not born in Canada, less than one per cent are visible minorities, making La Verendrye one of the least diverse ridings in Manitoba.
Nearly 60 per cent of working-age adults have only a high school diploma or less, putting in the bottom 10 ridings for level of education.
median age: 38.3
Immigrants: 12.7 per cent
Aboriginal population: 7.2 per cent
Living in poverty: 8.8 per cent
Median income: $23,642
In its old form La Verendrye has been a hotly contested riding since 1999, when NDP Ron Lemieux won it for the NDP for the first time by less than 200 votes over the Conservative.
Lemieux increased his victory in 2003 and in 2007, handily held on to the riding despite a strong push there by the Tories.
However Lemieux is now running over in Dawson Trail, because much of his support was drawn from the francophone regions that moved to the new riding. Much of what is now La Verendrye has historically been very strongly Conservative.
The seat is considered to be open with no incumbent.
Ron Lemieux, NDP 4,018
Bob Stefaniuk PC 2,973
Roland Chaput LIB 490
Jay Murray, GRN 379
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