The Progressive Conservatives will find out today whether they can sweep southeastern Manitoba for the first time since the New Democrats made inroads in 1999.
Dawson Trail, an area Ron Lemieux has called his home since that time, is the race to watch in the Southeast as provincial polls suggest there will be a blue wave washing Greg Selinger’s NDP government from power.
The polls opened at 7 a.m. today and close at 8 p.m.
Recent days on the campaign trail illuminated the competitive race in Dawson Trail. PC leader Brian Pallister stopped in Landmark—a rare visit to southeastern Manitoba this campaign—for a pep rally in support of his candidate Bob Lagasse, while Lemieux, who announced his retirement from politics in February, pounced on one of Lagasse’s gaffes at an all candidates forum, circulating a video seen more than 11,000 times on Facebook.
Joining Lagasse, a foster parent from Landmark, on the ballot are NDP candidate Roxane Dupuis, executive director of Manitoba’s francophone youth association, Liberal Terry Hayward, a former civil servant well-known from running in three federal campaigns and sign-maker David Sutherland with the Manitoba Party.
The Morris constituency will be interesting to watch to see the impact former Niverville councillor John Falk, carrying the Liberal banner, has made. Incumbent Shannon Martin, who won the 2014 by-election with nearly 70 percent of the vote, is running for the Progressive Conservatives. Mohamed Alli is the NDP’s candidate.
The Tories won La Verendrye with 64 percent of the vote in 2011, Emerson with 72 percent of the vote and Steinbach with 86 percent of the vote in the 2011 election.
In Steinbach, Kelvin Goertzen is running for the PCs. He faces off against the NDP’s Kathleen McCallum and Dakota Young-Brown with the Liberals.
Dennis Smook is seeking re-election in La Verendrye. The PC’s rivals are Echo Asher (NDP), Bill Paulishyn (Liberals) and Janine Gibson (Green).
In Emerson, Cliff Graydon is the PC candidate. The NDP’s Alanna Jones and Loren Braul with the Liberals challenge the incumbent for his seat.