November 22, 2019

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Winnipeg voters cast ballots, some undecided until last minute

Negative campaigns leave bad taste

Karen Cousins still wasn't sure who she was going to vote for when she drove to the polling station on Monday. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)</p></p>

Karen Cousins still wasn't sure who she was going to vote for when she drove to the polling station on Monday. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)

There was a lot of indecision and frustration amongst Winnipeggers who cast ballots in the federal election today.

Karen Cousins said she didn’t know who she was voting for when she got in her car this morning.

"I’d been going back and forth between a couple of people, and you just have to do what your conscience tells you to do. It was really hard," Cousins said outside of the polling station at Valour Community Centre’s Clifton site.

Cousins didn’t want to share who she voted for, but said she wanted to see more civility between the party leaders during the election campaign and more attention paid to issues affecting seniors such as herself.

"I just want people to be honest, and I just found the whole thing really disrespectful… between the parties and what they were saying about each other," she said. "Can we just get back to taking care of Canadians?"

Joanne McLeod also said she had a hard time deciding who she wanted to vote for in the riding and decided to cast a ballot for Liberal incumbent Robert-Falcon Ouellette over the NDP’s Leah Gazan.

Rick Lentowich casts his ballot in the Winnipeg Centre riding at the Valour Community Centre Clifton site Monday when polls opened at 8:30 a.m. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

Rick Lentowich casts his ballot in the Winnipeg Centre riding at the Valour Community Centre Clifton site Monday when polls opened at 8:30 a.m. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)

"I was up in the air between Liberal and NDP," McLeod said. "When it came down to the end, I just said to myself, ‘I really like NDP, but I’m voting Liberal because I don’t want Andrew Scheer in.' It was a strategic vote, rather than from my heart."

Robert Bonnett voted for the Conservative candidate in the neighbourhood, Ryan Dyck.

"I own firearms, and it’s the only party that is willing to stand up for my rights as a firearms owner," Bonnett said, adding he wasn’t impressed with the current Liberal government's handling of the economy or justice system.

Like Cousins, he also said he didn't like the mudslinging during the campaign.

"I don’t like dirty politics, I don’t like that any party went down that route," Bonnett said. "The only party that actually stood out was the NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh. I appreciated what he had to say but unfortunately, because of his party’s politics, I couldn’t vote for him."

In Winnipeg South, where Liberal incumbent Terry Duguid is trying to hold on to his seat, several voters who spoke with the Free Press said they didn’t notice much of a presence from their local candidates.

"I’ve actually received zero door knocks from any of the candidates," Eric Poppleton said. "I think I only heard about two of them, the Conservative candidate and the Liberal candidate."

Fernando Garcia was at his pollsing station early to cast his ballot. Polling stations are open in Manitoba until 8:30 p.m. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)

Fernando Garcia was at his pollsing station early to cast his ballot. Polling stations are open in Manitoba until 8:30 p.m. (Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press)

Poppleton said that didn't bother him because he usually votes for the party, not the candidate, in federal elections. He didn’t divulge who he voted for, but one area of interest for his family was the national pharmacare program — something the NDP have been championing. He also would have liked to see more talk about how Canada is going to address climate change on a global level.

"Maybe have some environmental tariffs on stuff that’s being imported from countries that are bigger polluters than we are?" Poppleton said. "Per capita (pollution) doesn’t really matter on a global scale."

Evelyn Yarn was another Winnipeg South resident who had a hard time deciding who to vote for when she arrived at the polling station at Whyte Ridge Elementary School on Monday morning, which is out of the ordinary for her.

"It was difficult to come. In fact, I considered not coming," she said. "I’ve been very sure when I come to the polls with who I am and what I want because the candidates were very upfront."

In Kildonan—St. Paul, where Conservative Raquel Dancho is hoping to unseat Liberal MP MaryAnn Mihychuk, voter Rick Stefanko said he wasn’t impressed with the federal election campaign, but he also wasn’t surprised.

"There was a lot of trash talking and promises that probably won’t be kept or that can change in stride," he said after casting a ballot at Inkster School.

Polls are open in Winnipeg until 8:30 p.m. today.

eva.wasney@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @evawasney

Eva Wasney

Eva Wasney
Arts Reporter

Eva Wasney reports on arts, culture and life for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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