Newspaper article The Canadian Press

The Manitoba Tory Leadership Race Gets Its First Candidate, Brian Pallister: The Manitoba Tory Leadership Race Is On

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

The Manitoba Tory Leadership Race Gets Its First Candidate, Brian Pallister: The Manitoba Tory Leadership Race Is On

Article excerpt

WINNIPEG - Six months after the job came up for grabs, Manitoba's Conservative party finally has its first official leadership candidate.

Former Manitoba cabinet minister, Canadian Alliance MP and federal leadership candidate Brian Pallister made it official at a launch in Winnipeg Wednesday after months of speculation. His announcement comes after a series of potential candidates -- including MP Rod Bruinooge and justice critic Kelvin Goertzen -- decided not to throw their hats in the ring.

The party was returned to the opposition benches in last fall's election. Pallister said he wants members to "embrace" that responsibility and prepare to form government in 2015.

"We will work as a team," Pallister told a small crowd of supporters including some caucus veterans. "We will conduct ourselves as if our children and grandchildren were watching us. We will field the best candidates. We will build the best organizations."

Pallister didn't delve into specific policy positions, but said Manitoba is tired of being a "have-not" province where people don't feel safe in their own homes. Everyone is worried about the sustainability of health care and the quality of education, he added.

"Manitobans doubt that this provincial government has the ability or the willingness to face these challenges," he said. "I share their doubts."

Pallister is no stranger to politics. He was elected provincially in 1992 and sat as a cabinet minister in Premier Gary Filmon's front benches until 1997 when he left in a quest to "unite-the-right" at the federal level.

He was elected federally under the Canadian Alliance banner in 2000 and ran for the federal leadership of the party. He resigned in 2008 to focus on his private financial services business in Portage La Prairie.

Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen announced his resignation following a disappointing showing in last fall's election where the party got 44 per cent of the popular vote, but the exact same number of seats as it had when the writ was dropped.

A new leader will be chosen at a leadership convention Oct. 27.

Should he win the leadership, Pallister said he's not in a hurry to seek a seat in the legislature.

"If the opportunity presents itself, I'll avail myself of the opportunity but the reality is a lot of important work needs to be done," Pallister said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.