Manitoba Conservatives lead the way for a woman leader
The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba has made sure its next leader – and the next premier – will be a woman.
The PC Party announced Thursday that former Health Minister and Tuxedo MP Heather Stefanson, and former policewoman and Conservative MP Shelly Glover, will be the only two candidates in her October 30 leadership race. They “met all the requirements set out in the rules established by the party’s executive council.”
Ken Lee, the party’s former chief financial officer and critic of pandemic restrictions and the PC government’s vaccine passports, says he’s not sure why he wasn’t approved to run for leadership.
“The Manitoba PC Party emailed me, ‘Following a rigorous application process, I regret to inform you that you have not been approved as a candidate,” Lee said in an article. on Facebook Thursday.
“As a Manitoban and proud Canadian, it is a very sad day for freedom and democracy.
On Wednesday, after the leadership contest deadline expired, Lee released a statement saying he had met all the requirements – he had raised $ 25,000 in donations, sold over 1,000 memberships, Obtained 50 members in good standing to sign their application documents and passed all background checks.
“I can honestly say I don’t know the reason I was denied a place on the next ballot,” Lee said on Facebook, where he garnered support from anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers and the Far Right People’s Party of Canada.
He declined to be interviewed.
To get on the ballot, candidates must also pass an interview process “to ensure a commitment to the principles and values of the party,” the Progressive Conservative Party said Thursday.
The PC leadership election committee declined interview requests, but spokesman Keith Stewart said in an email that “it is not the committee’s practice to publicly comment on every candidate or specific aspects. of the application process for applicants “.
It is “rigorous” and “embodies a wide range of factors, all of which have been carefully considered,” committee chairman George Orle said in a press release. “This is an exciting time for us to engage Manitobans in electing Manitoba’s next premier, and we look forward to an enthusiastic campaign.
Having a female party leader could increase her support among women who, according to a Probe Research poll in June, was 21% province-wide – with just 13% of women in Winnipeg saying they would vote PC. The New Democrats had the support of 55 per cent of women across the province and 64 per cent in Winnipeg.
“The NDP tends to have more advantages among female voters and when they lose elections it is usually when Conservatives (progressives) are able to take that advantage away from the NDP,” said Christopher Adams, professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba. Thusday.
“Now that we know that there are two candidates and that they are both women and that we will have a woman as prime minister after she is sworn in by the lieutenant governor after October 30, this will probably help. the Progressive Conservatives in the next election.
“The party needs to win back female voters and one of the things that might help will be to have a woman as the head of the party.”
The PCs will select a new leader, who will be the Prime Minister-designate, in a one-member, one-vote mail-in ballot. The deadline to become a member in order to vote is September 30th.
Sources told the Free press Wednesday that Lee had sold more memberships than other leadership contestants.
“I behaved like a real professional and I don’t have a skeleton in my closet,” Lee told his followers on Facebook. “My biggest disappointment is that I will no longer be able to carry your voice for freedom and try to make changes that would help.”
One of Lee’s supporters who initially offered on social media to pay party memberships for those who register to support Lee told the Free press On Wednesday, he would offer $ 20 interest-free loans to those who bought a subscription and they wouldn’t have to pay it back for 100 years.
Elections Manitoba said the reimbursement of membership fees violated the Election Finances Act, which states that a person or organization must not reimburse or compensate, or offer to reimburse or compensate any person for all or part of a contribution.
“A person should not make a contribution with the expectation of being reimbursed or indemnified by another person or organization for all or part of the contribution,” Elections Manitoba spokesperson Alison Mitchell said in an email. .
“The lending scenario is less clear, as the loan provisions under the (law) do not apply to members of the public, but only to political participants. I suggest you contact the party to see if they have any. concerns about it. ”
Stewart said the party “does not tolerate the activity of providing money or loans to buy memberships.”
The NDP demanded that PCs be transparent about membership sales and party activities during the leadership race.
“The PC party must tell the public that it does not allow the use of the ‘100 year loan program’. This is clearly wrong,” said New Democrat Malaya Marcelino.
“Manitobans need to know that no one in the PC Party can buy their place in the Prime Minister’s chair.
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people who call Manitoba home, Carol stepped into the Legislative Office in early 2020.
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