July 15, 2020

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A look at Manitoba's political dynasties

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/9/2015 (1749 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Next month’s election, and next spring’s, could bolster the ranks of some nascent political dynasties in Manitoba.

If NDP candidate Daniel Blaikie wins in Elmwood-Transcona, he’ll become at least the fifth political scion to hold office in Manitoba. If Cindy Lamoureux, daughter of Winnipeg North Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux, wins the Burrows constituency for the Liberals in next April’s provincial election, she could be the sixth.

Clockwise from top left: Niki Ashton NDP for Churchill; Jason Schreyer, son of former NDP Premier Ed Schreyer, is the newly minted city councillor for Elmwood-East Kildonan; Cindy Lamoureux, daughter of Winnipeg North Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux and Manitoba Liberal candidate for the Burrows constituency; NDP candidate Daniel Blaikie.

Clockwise from top left: Niki Ashton NDP for Churchill; Jason Schreyer, son of former NDP Premier Ed Schreyer, is the newly minted city councillor for Elmwood-East Kildonan; Cindy Lamoureux, daughter of Winnipeg North Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux and Manitoba Liberal candidate for the Burrows constituency; NDP candidate Daniel Blaikie.

University of Manitoba political scientist Paul Thomas says name recognition and profile often help the second generation of a political family, as does growing up in a political home where interest and skills can be fomented.

"Of course, these advantages do not exist if the political patriarch has a dubious legacy, like a scandal, or has recently been hugely unpopular," noted Thomas.

That’s not the case with Blaikie, whose father, Bill, served for 20 years as the MP for Elmwood-Transcona and typically won at least 50 per cent of the popular vote.

Daniel Blaikie has spoken fondly of his father’s political legacy, saying the way he handled public life serves as a model.

Other Manitoba political dynasties currently in the making include that of the Schreyers. Jason Schreyer, son of former NDP Premier Ed Schreyer, is the newly minted city councillor for Elmwood-East Kildonan. Also on council is Cindy Gilroy, daughter of former councillor Ernie Gilroy, now head of the East Side Road Authority.

In northern Manitoba, the Ashton dynasty — that of provincial transportation minister Steve Ashton and his daughter Niki, the NDP MP for Churchill — could also continue after the Oct. 19 election if Niki Ashton keeps her seat. Nearby, the new MLA for The Pas, Amanda Lathlin, is the daughter of longtime area politician Oscar Lathlin.

Thomas made special note of one dynasty that may be coming to an end — the Harapiaks, who were once dubbed the Ukrainian Kennedys of the North thanks to the gaggle of siblings elected to the Manitoba legislature from the Swan River area. That includes former NDP cabinet minister Leonard Harapiak and his sister, former finance minister Rosann Wowchuk.

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