ontario news watch

New Democrats to represent Winnipeg constituency for first time following byelection

WINNIPEG — The Tuxedo constituency in Winnipeg will be represented by the New Democrats for the first time since its creation following a byelection on Tuesday.

Carla Compton has secured the seat for the NDP – edging out Progressive Conservative candidate Lawrence Pinsky by 617 votes, Elections Manitoba has reported based off of unofficial numbers.

“After 40 years of (Progressive Conservatives), I’m honoured to have been elected as the first-ever NDP MLA for Tuxedo,” Compton said in a statement.

“Together with Wab Kinew, we will work to rebuild health care and make life better for Manitoban families.”

The seat has been vacant since former premier and Progressive Conservative party leader Heather Stefanson announced her resignation in April and served her last day in office in May.

The Tuxedo constituency, a well-to-do area in west Winnipeg, has been held by the Tories since its creation in 1981. It’s been won by only two people until now – Stefanson and another former premier, Gary Filmon – and was among the few Winnipeg seats to remain strongly Tory blue when the NDP racked up big majority governments in the early 2000s.

The NDP say it’s also the first time since 1971 that a governing party in the province has flipped a seat in a byelection.

A shift occurred in last year’s provincial election, when the NDP’s Larissa Ashdown finished just 268 votes behind Stefanson. The race was so close, Stefanson was not declared the winner until after election day.

The NDP also started off the current byelection campaign on a more prepared footing, having Compton, a registered nurse who ran for the seat in 2019 and finished in third place, in place as a candidate from the start. The Tories nominated Pinsky, a lawyer, a few days later, and he was overseas at the time.

Premier Wab Kinew congratulated Compton on her win.

“(Compton) will be a strong voice in our government as we rebuild health care and make life more affordable.”

Liberal candidate Jamie Pfau, a foster parent advocate, finished in third place, while Green Party Leader Janine Gibson came in last.

Pfau thanked Tuxedo residents and volunteers for supporting her candidacy.

“We hit every door in the riding, nearly twice. We had hundreds of valuable conversations and I’m grateful to the residents of Tuxedo for their time, and sharing their concerns with me,” Pfau said in a statement.

Before Tuesday’s byelection, the NDP had 34 legislature seats. The Tories had 21 and the Liberals have 1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press