5 things to know about the Winnipeg election
WINNIPEG – Here are five things you should know about Wednesday’s election:
1. The big one – Brian Bowman was elected mayor.
Who is Brian Bowman?
The 43-year-old privacy lawyer is Metis, born and raised in Winnipeg, a father of two and a partner in the Pitblado law firm.
Bowman has Conservative ties but also likes to point to his progressive side, calling himself a “red Tory.”
His promises on bus rapid transit are an example of his politics. He believes Winnipeg needs new transportation options, but he doesn’t want to go back to the drawing board and start over; he wants to complete the six planned BRT legs by 2030.
READ MORE: Brian Bowman wins 2014 Winnipeg election
2. Bowman’s big challenge – finding money to pay for his promises.
His chief opponent, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, said his promises were unrealistic in a city that’s strapped for cash and starved for ways to raise new funds.
Bus rapid transit alone will cost the city billions, with just the cost of completing the route to the University of Manitoba pegged at well over half a billion dollars.
Bowman also promised to tie tax increases to the rate of inflation.
WATCH: CJOB political panel looks at what Brian Bowman will need to do to cobble together an effective coalition at city hall
3. Three incumbents lost their council seats.
In what perhaps was a sign of Winnipeggers’ dissatisfaction with the state of affairs at city hall, Grant Nordman in St. Charles was beaten by Shawn Dobson, Thomas Steen in Elmwood-East Kildonan was beaten by Jason Schreyer and Harvey Smith in Daniel McIntyre was third, behind Keith Bellamy and winner Cindy Gilroy.
Steen, a former Winnipeg Jet, has been plagued by scandal in his term at city hall and has an assault case currently before the courts.
Smith, a city council veteran, barely hung on to his seat in 2010.
Nordman’s loss, however, surprised many. Dobson, a journeyman carpenter for the St. James School Division, finally beat Nordman in his fourth campaign against him.
4. There are seven new councillors.
In addition to the three who beat incumbent councillors, there are four other new faces at city hall.
Matt Allard, current Coun. Dan Vandal’s former assistant and CEO of the Francophone Chamber of Commerce, won in St. Boniface. Vandal stepped down because he wants to run in the next federal election for the Liberals.
Scott Gillingham, a Conservative and an ordained minister, took the St. James-Brooklands riding. He replaces Coun. Scott Fielding, who endorsed him, and who is retiring to run for the provincial Progressive Conservative Party.
Janice Lukes is the lone new woman councillor, beating Joe Chan, who once sued Mayor Sam Katz and worked for defeated Coun. Harvey Smith, and Sachit Mehra, a former president of the Manitoba Liberal Party and chairman of the Winnipeg Downtown BIZ. Lukes was the assistant of retiring St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel.
Lawyer and businessman Marty Morantz won a close race in Charleswood-Tuxedo, beating Evan Duncan by less than 500 votes.
Ross Eadie (Mynarski), Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry), Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas), Brian Mayes (St. Vital), John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry), Russ Wyatt (Transcona) and Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) all held on to their seats.
5. Mayoral candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette only sort of lost.
There is no prize for third place, but Ouellette’s 36,823 votes put a smile on his face.
With 15.7% of the vote, Ouellette proved he had a message Winnipeggers wanted to hear.
The French-speaking former military man and Cree candidate is unlikely to fade from the political scene anytime soon.
“I see a very bright future in some riding for Robert-Falcon,” retiring Coun. Scott Fielding said after the election.
WATCH: Robert-Falcon Ouellette thrilled with result
FULL COVERAGE: Winnipeg Election 2014
— With files from Lauren McNabb
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story left Marty Moranz (Charleswood-Tuxedo) off the list of new councillors.
© 2014 Shaw Media