Hey there, time traveller! This article was published 17/3/2009 (3077 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeggers will wake up this morning to a slightly more left-leaning city council, as John Orlikow is the new councillor for River Heights-Fort Garry.
The former school trustee defeated broadcaster Geoff Currier by almost 1,100 votes in a St. Patrick's Day byelection that saw NDP orange and Liberal red team up to defeat Tory blue on a night when the rest of the city was more concerned with being green.
With every poll reporting, the unofficial vote count was 4,392 for Orlikow and 3,299 for Currier.
The 39-year-old Orlikow, a 10-year school board veteran who was backed by Liberal and NDP-affiliated politicians and supporters, will fill a city council seat that's sat vacant since the December death of Brenda Leipsic, a Progressive Conservative who was one of Mayor Sam Katz's closest allies.
Federal and provincial Tories were among Currier's most prominent supporters.
Although Orlikow's election does little to threaten the mayor's control of Winnipeg's 16-member city council, the mere presence of a self-described progressive politician at city hall increases the size of the unofficial opposition to five councillors.
Orlikow, however, does not consider himself left of centre.
"It depends on how you define 'left,'" he said as he walked up to his victory party at Corydon Avenue's Mona Lisa Ristorante, explaining his main concerns are improving community centres, public transit and active transportation.