North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty says he’s seriously considering jumping to federal politics, to succeed MP Joy Smith who announced Tuesday morning she won’t be running again.

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North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty says he’s seriously considering jumping to federal politics, to succeed MP Joy Smith who announced Tuesday morning she won’t be running again.

Browaty, a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party of Canada, said even though he was just re-elected councillor, he wants to serve on a bigger stage.

Jeff Browaty

SUPPLIED PHOTO

Jeff Browaty

"It’s a very exciting opportunity. I’m going to be consulting with my wife but I’m definitely interested in the opportunity of running."

Browaty was first elected as councillor in 2006. Before that, he worked for Smith in her constituency office and on her team when she first was elected the area’s MP.

Browaty said he’s confirmed with the city clerk’s office that he won’t have to resign his council seat while campaigning federally, adding this would delay the need to hold a civic byelection until he is actually successful in his federal bid.

By-elections can be costly. The 2009 byelection in River Heights-Fort Garry, following the death of Coun. Brenda Leipsic, cost $212,000. A city spokeswoman said the cost was shared with the Winnipeg School Division as voting was also held to replace a school trustee.

The 2011 by-election for St. Vital, to replace former Coun. Gord Steeves who made an unsuccesful jump to provincial politics, cost $334, 167 and it involved the election of two school trustees.

Browaty was clearly excited with the prospect of making the jump to federal politics. He said one of his reasons for running federally is that many of the issue municipalities face can only be resolved at the federal level.

"We’ve done a lot of great work in north east Winnipeg and I think this is an opportunity to serve residents of North Kildonan on a bigger stage."

Browaty spoke to reporters just before he went into the mayor’s officer to notify him of his potential plans.

Smith had been nominated by the Conservatives to run in the next federal election, so the riding will have to hold another nomination meeting.

In addition to Browaty, it’s been speculated that PC MLA Ron Schuler might also be interested in the federal nod.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca