Thompson byelection set for June 7
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/05/2022 (202 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson has announced a June 7 byelection for Thompson that, out of the gate, appears to be a two-horse race.
The first to announce they were running was NDP candidate Eric Redhead, former acting grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations and chief of Shamattawa First Nation.
The Manitoba Liberals announced in January they weren’t placing a candidate in the byelection to fill the seat vacated when New Democrat MLA Danielle Adams was killed in a Dec. 9 accident on Highway 6 south of Thompson.
On Monday, the Progressive Conservatives announced their candidate: Charlotte Larocque, who was president of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce until last year, when she stepped down to run for the federal Conservatives in Churchill—Keewatinook Aski.
“I care about the North,” Larocque said in an interview Tuesday.
“I have lived throughout the North the majority of my life and coming back to the North, I saw that very little had changed,” said the 53-year-old, who left in 1993 and moved back to Thompson seven years ago. She said mines had closed, people left, “and the quality of life hadn’t changed much, in terms of housing and health-care services.”
“I’m the type of person that (believes) you can’t complain about something unless you’re willing to do something about it. So I’m putting myself out there to create that positive change and that prosperity that we need for everybody in the North,” said Larocque, who identifies as Métis.
Health care is the top priority for residents, said the resident of Thompson.
The regional hospital’s long-standing water problem was repaired Monday, restoring running hot water to patients on its wards.
There is still time for others to enter the race; deadline for nominations is May 24.
The Thompson constituency covers a vast area of 134,661 square kilometres, with the average age of its residents 29 and a median household income of $87,908.
The June 7 byelection will be the fourth under legislation introduced in 2016 to ensure byelections to fill a vacancy in the legislature would be called within 180 days.
In March, a byelection was held to fill the Fort Whyte seat vacated by former premier Brian Pallister. PC candidate Obby Khan narrowly defeated Liberal candidate Willard Reaves to hang on to what has been a Tory stronghold.
There may be another byelection in the next year, if Tory MLA Rochelle Squires decides to run for mayor of Winnipeg, as some have speculated.
Unlike members of Parliament, senators, judges or councillors from other municipalities who are ineligible to run for Winnipeg mayor, MLAs can throw their hat in the ring (via registration) without first vacating their provincial seat, according to the City of Winnipeg Charter.
An MLA would have to vacate their seat, however, when they file nomination papers, a city spokeswoman said.
The nomination period for the 2022 mayoral race is Sept. 14-20.
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.
Updated on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 9:40 AM CDT: Adds photo