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Selby to run for federal NDP, party sources say

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/9/2015 (1475 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Federal New Democrats will introduce former Manitoba health minister Erin Selby on Friday as their star candidate in Saint-Boniface-Saint Vital, according to several party sources.

Selby, one of five rebels who quit Greg Selinger's cabinet last fall, has been rumoured to be considering the political switch for weeks.

According to federal law, she would have to resign her seat in the Manitoba legislature to do so.

Her candidacy could hurt the perceived front-runner, Liberal Dan Vandal, and boost the chances of agribusiness consultant and Conservative standard-bearer François Catellier, pundits predict.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/9/2015 (1475 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Federal New Democrats will introduce former Manitoba health minister Erin Selby on Friday as their star candidate in Saint-Boniface-Saint Vital, according to several party sources.

Selby, one of five rebels who quit Greg Selinger's cabinet last fall, has been rumoured to be considering the political switch for weeks.

Erin Selby: quit Selinger cabinet

Erin Selby: quit Selinger cabinet

According to federal law, she would have to resign her seat in the Manitoba legislature to do so.

Her candidacy could hurt the perceived front-runner, Liberal Dan Vandal, and boost the chances of agribusiness consultant and Conservative standard-bearer François Catellier, pundits predict.

The riding has been held since 2008 by Conservative Shelly Glover, who is not seeking re-election.

"The person I think who will be the most happy about this announcement is François Catellier," said Winnipeg political scientist and author Chris Adams.

By running a high-profile candidate in Selby, the NDP is likely to win a greater share of the centre-left vote, he said.

Selby, who has served as the MLA for Southdale since 2007, would not confirm her federal candidacy when contacted by the Free Press. In an email, she said: "I hope to have a decision I can share with you this week."

However, several sources said she would declare her candidacy on Friday.

"She's going to be running. I know that she's putting a team into place," said one NDP source.

Even with Selby carrying the party colours on Oct. 19, the NDP faces an uphill struggle in Saint Boniface-Saint Vital, where it finished a distant third in 2011. But Adams said the former TV host could still be making a good career move, given the provincial NDP's unpopularity, especially in south Winnipeg.

"Fifteen years ago or even five years ago, the (federal) NDP didn't look like they would have a chance at forming the government. They do now," he said.

If they do — and Selby loses — she could receive a senior government post, he said. And even if New Democrats don't win power, they could still find employment for her, he added.

"I don't think she's seen seriously as someone who would win the Saint Boniface-Saint Vital area, but I think that she's someone who is jumping onto a wagon that seems to be going in the right direction for someone who is in the NDP," Adams said.

According to Elections Manitoba, there is nothing in Manitoba law that requires an MLA to resign his or her seat to run as a candidate federally.

However, under Sec. 65 of the Canada Elections Act, members of provincial legislatures are forbidden from being candidates in national elections. So, Selby would have to resign her seat. As of midday Wednesday, she had not.

One source suggested Wednesday Selby may be agreeing to run federally to mend fences within the local NDP by "taking one for the NDP team." She and the other provincial NDP caucus rebels are seen as traitors by some in the party for openly challenging Selinger's leadership.

But one local NDP insider said Wednesday Selby will have no problem attracting worker bees to assist in her federal election effort.

"Erin wouldn't have any trouble getting people to help her. I think people will come out of the woodwork," the insider said.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature Reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Read full biography

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