Wab Kinew’s New Democratic Party is projected to have enough seats in the Manitoba Legislature to form a majority government, taking the helm after two consecutive terms of a majority Tory regime.
The CTV News Decision Desk is declaring the NDP have been elected in the Manitoba Legislature.
The win comes after weeks of opinion polling in the run-up to election day that put the New Democrats as the favourite to win, especially in the seat-rich Winnipeg.
The win also makes Kinew Manitoba’s first First Nations premier and second Indigenous premier, after John Norquay. The Metis politician served as the province’s fifth premier until 1887.
The party campaigned on a platform of rehabilitating health care, helping Manitobans cope with the affordability crisis, and a five-point plan to address crime.
Prior to the Progressive Conservatives taking power in 2016, the New Democrats presided over four consecutive majority governments captained by former premiers Gary Doer and Greg Selinger.
Kinew is a former CBC host first elected in the Winnipeg riding of Fort Rouge in 2016. The following year, he launched a successful bid for the NDP leader.
“This is a great victory for us!” exclaimed Kinew as he took the stage to make his victory speech.
“My dear, sweet Manitoba, look at what we have done here tonight!”
During the speech, Kinew spoke about his past and how he turned his life around.
“I was given a second chance in life and I’d like to think that I’ve made good on that opportunity,” said Kinew. “My life became immeasurably better when I stopped making excuses and I started looking for a reason.”
Kinew had a message for young Manitobans who may be struggling right now.
“To young people out there who want to change their life for the better – you can do it. But here’s the thing, you have to want it,” he said.
Kinew also had a message for business owners in the province.
“To the business community, I look forward to sitting down with you. And you know that one of my fundamental political beliefs is that the economic horse pulls the social cart.”
Manitoba’s premier-elect wrapped up his speech by thanking the people of Manitoba.
“I want to express our tremendous gratitude for this awesome responsibility that you have bestowed upon us. I want to say thank you,” said Kinew.
Following the announcement, Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham congratulated Kinew on the win.
“Mr. Kinew and his party clearly have earned the trust and mandate of Manitobans, and I am optimistic about what we can achieve for our city and our province,” Gillingham said in a statement.
“I am optimistic about what we can achieve for our city and our province,” the statement reads, saying he is eager to work closely with the new provincial government.
“With mutual respect, open dialogue, and common priorities, I am confident we can achieve great progress in the years to come.”
In a speech at party headquarters, PC Leader Heather Stefanson conceded the election, adding she has called Kinew to congratulate him.
“I accept the will of the voters, and the voters have spoken,” she said.
Stefanson said the historic nature of Kinew’s victory needs to be acknowledged.
“I hope that your win tonight inspires a future generation of Indigenous youth to get involved in our democratic process not just here in Manitoba, but right across the country,” she said.
– With files from the Canadian Press