Meet the new faces joining Manitoba’s government

The NDP may have won a majority of the seats, but Manitobans also voted in a big group of PC rookies to the province’s legislative assembly Tuesday night.

A whopping 15 PC MLAs who won seats in the 2019 election decided not to run for re-election, opening up those ridings to fresh faces.

Here are some of the first-time MLAs who will be representing Manitobans across the province, according to CBC’s projections.

Agassiz: Jodie Byram (PC)

Jodie Byram (PC) won in Agassiz, a Progressive Conservative stronghold. (Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party)

Jodie Byram held on to this riding for the Progressive Conservatives. It was previously held by former cabinet minister Eileen Clarke, who was first elected as the MLA for Agassiz in 2016.

Clarke resigned from her role as minister of Indigenous and northern relations following former premier Brian Pallister’s controversial comments downplaying the harms of colonialism in Canada. Last August, she announced her decision not to seek re-election. 

Byram worked as a constituency assistant for Clarke for nine years before running for her old boss’s job. 

Growing up on a farm, Byram hopes to be a strong voice for rural Manitoba, the PC Party website says.

Kildonan-River East: Rachelle Schott (NDP)

The NDP’s Rachelle Schott is the new member of the legislative assembly for Kildonan-River East. 

The relatively new riding was won by Progressive Conservative candidate Cathy Cox in 2019, who had previously served as the representative for the former River East riding — which had been blue since 1986.

Schott works as an educational assistant but is also trained as a primary care paramedic. 

She served as a project co-ordinator for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, which helps educate Manitobans about treaty relations and reconciliation. 

She currently lives in the Fraser’s Grove neighbourhood with her husband and two children. 

Fort Richmond: Jennifer Chen (NDP) 

Jennifer Chen took the south Winnipeg riding for the NDP on Tuesday.

The Winnipeg School Division trustee holds a master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Manitoba. 

Chen, who is originally from China, has also served on various boards and committees in the city, including CancerCare Manitoba, the Newcomer Advisory Committee and Asian Heritage Society. 

Fort Richmond was previously represented by former PC cabinet minister Sarah Guillemard, who decided not to run for re-election.

Morden-Winkler: Carrie Hiebert (PC)

A headshot of a blonde white woman.
Progressive Conservative Carrie Hiebert is the new MLA for Morden-Winkler. (Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party)

Carrie Hiebert is the new MLA for Morden-Winkler. 

The riding, which has always voted Progressive Conservative, was previously represented by cabinet minister Cameron Friesen, who stepped down as MLA to run federally in the Portage-Lisgar byelection.

Hiebert takes on her former boss’s job, having worked for Friesen in his constituency office. She also worked for former Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen, and has been highly involved in the PC Party at both the provincial and federal levels.

Lakeside: Trevor King (PC)

A headshot of a man.
Trevor King is the new PC MLA for Lakeside. (Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative Trevor King is the new MLA for Lakeside, the riding located northwest of Winnipeg that includes Stonewall and Stony Mountain. 

The riding has voted PC for the last 13 elections. It was previously represented by former cabinet minister Ralph Eichler, who was first elected in 2011. 

King was the reeve for the RM of Woodlands from 2014 to 2018 before leaving municipal politics to work for Prairie Roots Consumers Co-operative as energy division manager. 

He operates a family farm near Warren, where he lives with his wife and four sons.

Spruce Woods: Grant Jackson (PC)

A headshot of a young white man.
Grant Jackson is the new PC MLA for Spruce Woods, taking over the riding that was represented by former PC cabinet minister Cliff Cullen. (Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party)

The PCs’ Grant Jackson has captured the riding that has only ever known one MLA — Progressive Conservative Cliff Cullen — since it was created.

The former deputy premier won the the seat for the PCs in the 2011, 2016 and 2019 elections, but added his name to the list of Progressive Conservative MLAs departing politics last December. 

Jackson’s win secures the southwestern Manitoba riding for the PCs for a fourth time. 

Before running for office himself, Jackson worked for Brandon-Souris member of Parliament Larry Maguire, both in Brandon and on Parliament Hill. 

Since 2020, Jackson has worked for the Manitoba PCs on several portfolios, including as special adviser to the premier. Prior to that, he also spent more than 10 years volunteering for the party, serving as regional director for southwest Manitoba on the party’s board.

Portage la Prairie: Jeff Bereza (PC)

A headshot of an older white man.
Progressive Conservative Jeff Bereza is the new MLA for Portage la Prairie. (Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party)

Former city councillor and businessman Jeff Bereza continues the PC hold on this riding for the 13th provincial election in a row.

A lifelong resident of Portage la Prairie, Bereza has worked in the agriculture industry since the early 1990s. He also served as chair of the Municipal Board of Manitoba for eight years.

In the past three elections (2011, 2016 and 2019), the Portage la Prairie riding was won by Progressive Conservative Ian Wishart.

La Vérendrye: Konrad Narth (PC)

A headshot of a white man.
Konrad Narth is the new PC MLA for La Verendrye. (Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party)

The PCs’ Konrad Narth is the new MLA for the southeastern Manitoba riding of La Vérendrye. 

Prior to running for office, Narth owned several businesses in the area and worked on his family’s farm near Zhoda.

He also served as municipal councillor and volunteered for numerous community boards and organizations, the PC Party website says.

The La Vérendrye riding was previously represented by PC backbencher Dennis Smook, who was first elected in 2011. 

Roblin: Kathleen Cook (PC)

A headshot of a white woman.
Kathleen Cook is the new PC MLA for Roblin. (Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party)

Kathleen Cook is the new PC MLA for Roblin, which covers part of west Winnipeg and Headingley. 

The riding was created in the 2018 riding redistribution and was previously represented by veteran PC MLA Myrna Driedger, the former Speaker of the legislature. 

Cook has worked in municipal and provincial politics as a senior policy analyst, project manager and special adviser. Most recently she served as provincial director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

She lives in Winnipeg’s Charleswood area with her husband and four children.

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