Lawrence Toet joins the federal race for Portage-Lisgar
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Lawrence Toet is seeking the federal Conservative nomination for the Portage-Lisgar riding vacated by former Member of Parliament Candice Bergen.
Toet, who served as a Conservative MP for Elmwood-Transcona under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2011 to 2015, announced his intention to seek the federal nomination during a campaign kickoff event in Winkler Saturday.
“I have been encouraged by many in the community to seek this nomination. Seeing a room full of supporters as we begin this campaign is a strong confirmation that the people of Portage-Lisgar are looking for a nominee with experience and shared values,” Toet stated, according to a statement posted on his campaign website.
He supports Pierre Poilievre’s stance on protecting family values and maintaining personal freedoms. Toet’s website states he “believes strongly in the message of freedom that has been articulated by Pierre: freedom from government overreach and freedom to raise your family with the values that are the cornerstone of your way of life.”
Toet was a partner in a family-owned printing business, Premier Printing, before he entered politics. He is currently vice chairman of the board of directors for Bethania Group, a Mennonite organization that operates personal care homes and subsidized rental units in Winnipeg.
Other Conservative politicians and former Tory staffers are seeking the Portage-Lisgar seat. So far, Manitoba Finance Minister and Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen has announced he intends to resign his provincial seat to go for the federal nomination. Former provincial Tory staffer Liz Reimer also has her hat in the ring, along with Branden Leslie, Bergen’s former campaign manager and Grain Growers of Canada manager of policy and government relations.
Winnipeg Police Service officer Rejeanne Caron has expressed interest in seeking the nomination for the Conservative stronghold seat. Caron ran unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in two Winnipeg ridings in the last two federal elections.
Bergen represented Portage-Lisgar since 2008 and had previously announced she wouldn’t be seeking re-election before she officially resigned her seat in the House of Commons on Feb. 1.
The Conservative Association in Portage-Lisgar has not yet announced a date for selecting a nominee.