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June 25, 2019

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An upset for Ouellette

City’s core riding votes red, ending years of NDP dominance

Ouellette supporters cheer as the Liberal Party of Canada is announced as a majority government.

ALANA TRACHENKO

Ouellette supporters cheer as the Liberal Party of Canada is announced as a majority government.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2015 (1337 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

On Oct. 19, the Winnipeg Centre riding changed hands for the first time since its establishment in 1997.

Former NDP MP Pat Martin lost his seat to Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette on Oct. 19 as the country was swept up in a “Red Wave” that handed the Liberals a majority in Parliament. Martin did not respond to requests for an interview by press time.

Ouellette became known to Winnipeggers in 2014 when he ran for the civic election. While he didn’t win his run for Mayor, he gained a lot of visibility during the race.

“We had already done a lot of polling so we knew we had a very good chance of winning,” Ouellette said. “But we were very nervous because it had not been done before.”

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2015 (1337 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

On Oct. 19, the Winnipeg Centre riding changed hands for the first time since its establishment in 1997.

Former NDP MP Pat Martin lost his seat to Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette on Oct. 19 as the country was swept up in a "Red Wave" that handed the Liberals a majority in Parliament. Martin did not respond to requests for an interview by press time.

Ouellette became known to Winnipeggers in 2014 when he ran for the civic election. While he didn’t win his run for Mayor, he gained a lot of visibility during the race.

"We had already done a lot of polling so we knew we had a very good chance of winning," Ouellette said. "But we were very nervous because it had not been done before."

He attributed his receipt of 55 per cent of the vote — 18,471 ballots were cast in his favour — was due to months of hard work from his supporters and volunteers.

"About four weeks ago we had the debate with Downtown BIZ and we knew we were neck and neck, 26 per cent for me and 28 for Martin," Ouellette said. "I knew it would be close and I think people wrote us off and said you could never do it… we showed that through really hard work on the ground you can make things happen. It was really fun."

Ouellette is ready to jump into his new role as Member of Parliament, but he said that things won’t change overnight.

"It’ll be a little different but not too different," he said. "I want to offer the same level of support people are used to getting, and making sure that people are getting even more support, in areas such as immigration, passport services, social support, housing, working with community groups. Just trying to really be present."

After getting to know the riding in an in-depth way, Ouellette said he knows the areas that he wants to focus on going forward.

"During this campaign, also during the municipal campaign many issues were highlight," Ouellette said. "Issues related to CFS (Child and Family Services), need for housing and employment among people, ensuring that all newcomers get services that they need. A lot of them come to Canada with great hopes."

The MP said that he’d like to change the policies that make it difficult for settled immigrants to access language services for free.

"They should be able to access these resources in our community because they’re so important in long-term success," he said. "We want them to have not just a survival job but a thriving job."

Oullette said that during the campaign, he saw an overwhelming desire to repurpose the city’s railyard into a more efficient mode of transportation to increase social mobility. And most importantly?

"I also learned how to kiss babies and shake a lot of hands," Ouellette said with a laugh.

Facebook.com/TheMetroWPG
Twitter: @metroWPG

Alana Trachenko

Alana Trachenko
Community journalist — The Metro

Alana Trachenko is the community journalist for The Metro Email her at alana.trachenko@canstarnewscom Call her at 204-697-7132

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