Favourite political moment

Illustration by Gabrielle Funk

1. NDP defeats PCs in provincial election

2. Palestinian solidarity/ceasefire movement

3. Rally for Trans Youth

Under the chandelier of the ballroom at the Fort Garry Hotel, cheers erupted from the crowd on Oct. 3 when it was announced Wab Kinew’s New Democratic Party (NDP) was elected as the next Manitoba provincial government.

The NDP formed a majority government with 34 seats, defeating Heather Stefanson’s Progressive Conservatives (PC), who only held onto 22 seats.

According to Probe Research, voters were most concerned with issues like healthcare, cost of living, and public safety during the election. More than 400,000 voters cast their ballots by the time the polls closed, including a record 200,790 during the advanced voting period.

The NDP campaign hinged on fixing healthcare and making life more affordable for Manitobans. The party promised to build three new emergency rooms in Winnipeg and a new cancer-care facility.

The NDP last won an election under then-premier Greg Selinger in 2011, before losing to Brian Pallister’s PCs in 2016.

As the wave of orange swept across the province on election night, Manitoba’s first First Nations premier stood grinning on the podium, surrounded by his family.

“This is a great victory for us,” Kinew said. “This is a great victory for all of us.”

The new majority NDP government saw a diverse range of rookie candidates elected. Of the 34 elected seats, 16 are held by first-time Manitoba Legislative Assembly members.

One is 23-year old Jelynn Dela Cruz, who is the youngest woman to hold a seat in the Manitoba Legislature. Also making history is Logan Oxenham, who became the first transgender person to hold office at the provincial level in Manitoba.

As the results rolled in and an NDP victory became officially certified, both PC leader Heather Stefanson, and Manitoba Liberal leader Dugald Lamont announced they would step down from their positions.

Published in Volume 78, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2023)

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