Manitoba will soon have its first female Premier.
The PC Party Leadership Committee says they have finished their review of all applications for the leadership race happening next month.
Shelly Glover and Heather Stefanson are the only candidates to qualify for the leadership contest.
“This is a rigorous application process that embodies a broad range of factors, all of which have been carefully considered”,” said George Orle, chair of the committee.
“It’s an exciting time for us to engage Manitobans to elect the next Premier of Manitoba, and we look forward to an enthusiastic campaign.”
Stefanson said she is excited to be on the ballot and, if selected, looks forward to moving the party forward.
“Regardless of what happens in this race, Manitoba will be led by a woman for the first time in its history. This is an exciting and historic time for Manitoba,” she said in a statement.
Glover officially announced her intention to run last week and said she opposes COVID-19 vaccine mandates for front-line workers.
She also said that if chosen leader, she would review how the government decided to require people to be vaccinated to enter restaurants, theatres, sports arenas and other venues.
The Tory government also brought in a requirement for health-care staff, teachers and others who work with children and vulnerable people to be fully vaccinated or tested up to three times a week.
Glover’s team said Thursday they will continue to campaign and approach every eligible voter to earn their support.
Previously-announced candidates Shannon Martin and Ken Lee are not on the ballot. Martin bowed out Wednesday evening, and while Lee said he was making a bid on Wednesday, he appears to not have been successful.
Martin said in social media posts that his bid to become leader has “come up short” but congratulated his team for the work they’ve done over the past few weeks.
“I really do enjoy being an MLA, yes even a backbencher,” he wrote. “It was about principle. It was my belief that we need to chart a new path.
“I am good,” he added, before noting he would be turning his phone off for the next three days.
Meanwhile Lee, the PC Party’s former financial officer, said he sold enough party memberships to make a bid for leader.
He made the announcement Wednesday night after the race’s 5 p.m. registration deadline.
“There is an emerging belief in Canada that the Charter of Rights and Public Health Act have been used by governments to justify the erosion of our freedoms,” he said.
“I believe that now is the time for change in Manitoba’s political leadership.”
Lee said in his release that he opposes vaccine passports and mandatory vaccination as a job requirement.
However, his name did not appear on the ballot.
The party says Glover and Stefanson both met the party’s entry requirements, which include submitting 1,000 new or renewed memberships, obtaining nomination signatures from 50 party members in good standing, and a $25,000 fee.
The party’s release Thursday said candidates also needed to “participate in an interview process to ensure a commitment to the principles and values of the party.”
Former premier Brian Pallister stepped down earlier this month triggering the leadership vote, which is to take place Oct. 30.
–With files from The Canadian Press