by Kris Ontong
On September 10, the people of Manitoba voted to give the Progressive Conservatives (PC) a second term. Along with this, PC leader and Premier Brian Pallister, New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Wab Kinew and Liberal leader Dougald Lamont were all re-elected in their respective ridings. Green Party leader James Beddome was unsuccessful in his election bid as he went head-to-head with Kinew in Fort Rouge.
CBC Manitoba took on Election Night with two coverage desks in their main studio. On one desk was News Anchor Janet Stewart who teamed up with political scientist Chris Adams in monitoring and commentating as the numbers came in from various polling centres. The other desk had Marcy Markusa with a partisan panel that included the NDP’s Erin Selby, Sachit Mehra for the Liberals and re-electionist MLA Kelvin Goertzen of Steinbach.
Milling around in the background was a group dubbed as the ‘Manitoba Votes Café’, whose ‘patrons‘ are meant to represent a cross-section of the province’s voters. This writer and his spouse, Peegy Ontong were invited by CBC Manitoba to be among this group that included notable community figures such as Opaskwayak Cree Nation Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair, Winnipeg Deputy Mayor Markus Chambers, Eric Reder of Wilderness Committee – Manitoba Office, public speaker and activist Mary Black, legal student Danielle H. Morrison, Dr. Rehman AbdulRehman, Seven Oaks School Division Superintendent Brian O’Leary, Daniel Stokes of the Progressive Conservatives, and Owen Stapleton and Owen Black from the Journalism program of Red River College.
In the course of the broadcast, CBC declared Kelvin Goertzen as the projected winner of a fifth consecutive term in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. In his speech at a celebration the following evening, Goertzen acknowledged the love and patience of wife Kimberley and son Malachi, the spirited effort of his campaign volunteers, and the continued confidence of fellow Steinbach residents.
Among the Filipino community’s six candidates who ran for seats, only two were elected. The NDP’s Malaya Marcelino took Notre Dame, while the PC’s Jon Reyes who was previously the St. Norbert MLA , won the Waverley riding. Ted Marcelino, the long-time MLA of Tyndall Park, bowed to Liberal Cindy Lamoureux who transferred from the Burrows riding.
The complete results of the 42nd Manitoba Provincial Elections can be seen at:
Kris Ontong is the past president of the South Eastman Filipino Association (SEMFA) and is an awardee at the 2019 National Filipino-Canadian Heritage Event for his active role in the Filipino community. As a new Canadian and first-time voter, he interviewed Winnipeg-based candidates from the PC, NDP and Liberals to better understand the principles and platforms of each party, and the issues affecting their respective ridings and the province of Manitoba in general.