Dougald Lamont wins Manitoba Liberal leadership race

Dougald Lamont is the new leader of the Manitoba Liberal party. Mike Arsenault / Global News

Dougald Lamont is the new leader of the Manitoba Liberals.

The 48-year-old University of Winnipeg lecturer has never held office, but ran once before for the head of the party.

After a tense convention that started with massive delays and ended with a second ballot vote, Lamont grabbed his new title just before 9 p.m. Saturday night.

“We’ve said we want to change politics and change government in Manitoba and we think both are possible,” said Lamont. “A lot of people, their lives have been getting harder and harder for years. I want to be part of turning that around.”

READ MORE: Technical glitches and long lines delay Manitoba Liberal leadership convention

Lamont won by picking up only 8 more votes than second place candidate Cindy Lamoureux after he finished in second place on the first ballot.

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Jon Gerrard finished in third place after the first round of voting and dropped out to throw his support behind Lamoureux for the second ballot.

READ MORE: Manitoba Liberals to remain leaderless until October convention

The Liberals, who currently only have three seats in the Manitoba Legislature, have been without a permanent leader since Rana Bokhari resigned last year. That, however, hasn’t stopped them from feeling optimistic.

“I believe that Manitobans are looking for an alternative from the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP,” Manitoba Liberal Party president Paul Brault said. “With a new leader in place, we are able to provide that alternative.”

Lamont says there is a lot he would like to change about the current provincial political climate. He believes Manitoba needs a taxation review and increased mental health treatment.

He also believes the province needs to address health care changes by axing regional health authorities.

“You’d be returning local control to hospitals, doctors and communities,” Lamont said.

The new leader also said that winning a seat in a by-election is on his to-do list: something he believes he will have a lot of time to do before the 2020 general election.


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