Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew rallied supporters on the final Sunday of the provincial election campaign, while Progressive Conservative Leader Heather Stefanson continued to stay out of the media spotlight.
Kinew told NDP members not to take the party’s lead in opinion polls for granted and to work to get out the vote for Tuesday’s election. The NDP have been in opposition for seven years and recent polls suggest they are running ahead of the Tories, especially in Winnipeg, where 32 of the 57 legislature seats are.
Kinew also criticized the governing Progressive Conservatives for campaign ads that say the province will not search the Prairie Green Landfill for the remains of two Indigenous women — Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran — believed to have been killed and taken there last year. A man has been charged with first-degree murder in their deaths and two others.
“We all knew the PCs were going to go negative, but I don’t think any of us expected just how despicable the PC ads would be,” Kinew said.
“Could any of you have imagined before this election campaign that a sitting government would use women who are murder victims as political props in their advertising?”
The Tories have said the ads explain that a search carries too much risk from asbestos and other toxic materials, based on a federally funded feasibility study. Stefanson has said rejecting the proposed search was a very difficult decision but she is not willing to put searchers at risk of cancer and other diseases.
In print advertisements and digital billboards, the Tories have placed ads that display the words “Stand Firm” and “for health and safety reasons, the answer on the landfill dig just has to be no.”
Stefanson did not hold any media events Sunday and her team declined an interview request, continuing a low-profile pattern in the latter half of the campaign.
Stefanson has attended public events, including a forum hosted by Doctors Manitoba and a debate with other leaders in Brandon in the last week. But she has not held a news conference in Winnipeg in 10 days while Kinew has been in the spotlight virtually every day.
A political analyst said Stefanson may have calculated that her time would be better spent in rural seats that may be at risk, such as Brandon East and Dauphin, instead of campaigning in Winnipeg and facing daily questions from reporters.
“Underlying the decision could be the fact that public and private polling is showing the party trailing badly in Winnipeg. The decision may be part of a strategy intended to limit the magnitude of its defeat,” Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba, said Sunday.
Liberals promise help for newcomers
Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, whose party had three seats in the legislature when the election was called, promised help for immigrants Sunday.
Lamont said he would reduce application fees under the Provincial Nominee Program to $50 from $500. He also promised fewer barriers and more financial support for new Canadians looking to upgrade their job credentials.
“It’s very frustrating when there is someone who has come from another country, they have an advanced degree and they can’t use it here,” Lamont said.
“People who are engineers, nurses, doctors, psychologists — they could be working here but they can’t get their credentials recognized.”
Source : CBC