Health Minister Audrey Gordon among Winnipeg PC cabinet ministers losing seats to NDP

The Manitoba NDP’s win in Tuesday’s election means several Progressive Conservative MLAs are out of a job, including a number of former cabinet ministers. 

That includes Audrey Gordon, the Progressive Conservative health minister, who has lost her seat in Winnipeg’s Southdale riding to NDP rookie Renée Cable, CBC projects.

Gordon is one of five Manitoba PC cabinet ministers who have lost their seats in the legislature, as the NDP are set to form a majority government, according to CBC’s projection.

Rochelle Squires, who served two terms as the Riel MLA, was one of the first PC cabinet ministers defeated Tuesday night in Manitoba’s provincial election, losing to NDP candidate Mike Moyes. 

James Teitsma, who courted controversy during the COVID-19 pandemic by decrying vaccine mandates, lost his northeast Winnipeg Radisson seat to rookie NDP candidate Jelynn Dela Cruz.  

Cabinet ministers Kevin Klein and Janice Morley-Lecomte were also defeated in Kirkfield Park and Seine River, respectively. 

Former PC cabinet ministers Kelvin Goertzen (Steinbach), Greg Nesbitt (Riding Mountain), Wayne Ewasko (Lac du Bonnet), Obby Khan (Fort Whyte) and Doyle Piwniuk (Turtle Mountain) were re-elected in their respective ridings, CBC projects.

Health minister loses seat

Gordon was one of a trio of new MLAs who became the first black candidates elected to the Manitoba Legislature in the 2019 election. 

She was named minister of health and seniors care in August 2021, replacing Heather Stefanson, who resigned her cabinet post to run for the leadership of the PC Party.

It’s been a tough file that saw the province grapple with chronic understaffing of Manitoba hospitals and long wait times for emergency care and surgeries.

Squires defeated in Riel 

PC cabinet minister Rochelle Squires lost her seat in the Manitoba Legislature Tuesday night. (Ian Froese/CBC)

Squires, who was first elected in 2016, held several positions in the PC cabinet, including the Municipal Relations, Sustainable Development, and Sport, Culture and Heritage portfolios. Mostly recently, she oversaw the Families department. 

Political analyst Chris Adams said Squires was seen as a good representative of the urban side of the PC party, as well as a possible leadership candidate in the 2021 PC leadership race to replace former premier Brian Pallister. 

“She’s also seen as sort of a bright future of the party,” Adams said. 

Moyes is a teacher at Glenlawn Collegiate who has served on the boards of several community organizations, including the Greendell Park Community Centre and Bishop Grandin Greenway.

Teitsma loses in Radisson 

A man stands at a podium, in front of an enclosure of bisons.
James Teitsma has lost the Radisson seat, CBC projects. (Ian Froese/CBC)

First elected in 2016, Teitsma was appointed to the PC cabinet earlier this year, overseeing the Consumer Protection and Government Services portfolio. He was also the minister responsible for the public service and minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board. 

But he went against his party in 2021 when he publicly denounced the province’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, arguing they went too far in restricting people’s freedoms.

He also came under fire for travelling outside the province when his government was encouraging the public to stay home. 

PC cabinet ministers Kelvin Goertzen and Doyle Piwniuk were re-elected in their respective ridings of Steinbach and Turtle Mountain, CBC projects. 

Klein out in Kirkfield Park 

A man's head and shoulders with a Costco logo in soft focus in the distance.
Kevin Klein, who was first elected in a December 2022 byelection, has lost his seat in Kirkfield Park. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Klein lost his Kirkfield Park seat to NDP candidate Logan Oxenham after less than a year in office. 

Klein became an MLA in December 2022, after beating Oxenham in a tight byelection for the riding. He was appointed environment and climate minister in January. 

The former city councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood also ran in last October’s Winnipeg mayoral race, coming in third.

Morley-Lecomte loses in Seine River 

A woman in a blazer and white shirt stands behind a podium with a microphone.
Janice Morley-Lecomte, the Progressive Conservative MLA in Seine River, was defeated by NDP candidate Billie Cross. (Adam Yadaoui/Radio-Canada)

Morley-Lecomte, who joined Heather Stefanson’s cabinet earlier this year, lost to NDP candidate Billie Cross in the south Winnipeg riding of Seine River. 

Morley-Lecomte was sworn in as minister of mental health and community wellness in January 2023, taking over the post previously held by Sarah Guillemard.

Prior to her election in 2016, Morley-Lecomte worked in social services for more than 25 years, including working as a counsellor at a domestic violence shelter. 

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