December 16, 2017

Winnipeg
-12° C, Light snow

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Mercredi elected new NDP president

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press 
Ovide Mercredi: �reconciliation� needed

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press Ovide Mercredi: �reconciliation� needed

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/3/2015 (1014 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OVIDE Mercredi, a former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations and a staunch Greg Selinger supporter, is the new president of the Manitoba NDP.

Mercredi, 69, defeated two other candidates, including three-year incumbent Ellen Olfert, in a contest that was influenced, at least in part, by leadership politics.

He is the first indigenous person to be elected president of the Manitoba NDP.

Mercredi's candidacy caught most in the party by surprise when it was announced on Friday afternoon along with an endorsement by Premier Selinger.

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 336 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

Hope you enjoyed your trial.

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 336 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/3/2015 (1014 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OVIDE Mercredi, a former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations and a staunch Greg Selinger supporter, is the new president of the Manitoba NDP.

Mercredi, 69, defeated two other candidates, including three-year incumbent Ellen Olfert, in a contest that was influenced, at least in part, by leadership politics.

He is the first indigenous person to be elected president of the Manitoba NDP.

Mercredi's candidacy caught most in the party by surprise when it was announced on Friday afternoon along with an endorsement by Premier Selinger.

Some said it was unusual for a leader to publicly back a candidate for the party presidency, especially without any forewarning.

Mercredi himself said he didn't decide to run until 3 p.m. on Friday. Less than a half-hour later, Selinger sent a press release announcing his endorsement.

While Mercredi is a star candidate, his election was also viewed as a bid by the premier to tighten his grip over the new executive.

At least three other Selinger loyalists were elected Saturday as regional vice-presidents, including former finance minister Rosann Wowchuk and former Winnipeg School Division chairwoman Suzanne Hyrnyk.

Olfert, who has been careful to remain neutral during the leadership race, had served as president since 2012.

She will remain on the NDP board as past president. Olfert is said to have been backed by leadership candidate Theresa Oswald.

A third candidate for president, Tyler Duncan, an 18-year-old University of Winnipeg student originally from Norway House, was endorsed by leadership candidate Steve Ashton.

Duncan, who wowed the convention with an eloquent speech, was later elected to the board as a member at large.

Mercredi, a Cree leader from Grand Rapids, credited name recognition and Selinger's endorsement for his win.

In a speech to delegates, he said his first job as president would be to "bring about reconciliation" within the party.

He later said he can work with whoever is elected leader today. "I can work with any one of those three people. If I didn't think I could, I wouldn't have run."

It took two ballots to elect the NDP president after none of the candidates received a majority of the votes in the first round of voting. In the second ballot, Mercredi got 300 votes to 263 for Olfert.

Mercredi's ties to the NDP go back to the days of Ed Schreyer and Howard Pawley. He said he has not always been an NDP member, though, since he felt he needed to be neutral when he served as chief and grand chief.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Larry Kusch.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.