Wab Kinew makes history as Manitoba NDP projected to form government – Winnipeg

Manitoba voters made history Tuesday night.

After seven years of Progressive Conservative governments under premiers Brian Pallister and Heather Stefanson, Global News projects the Manitoba NDP will be back at the helm.

Leader Wab Kinew, who is projected to be re-elected in his own riding of Fort Rouge, is set to become the first premier of First Nations descent in a Canadian province.

A musician, broadcast journalist, and university administrator prior to his entry into politics, Kinew moved to Winnipeg as a child from Onigaming First Nation in Ontario.

Kinew was first elected as an MLA in 2016, and became NDP leader in 2017. His party’s result Tuesday night is a significant improvement over his first provincial election as leader, a dominant performance by his PC opposition that saw the NDP with only 25 per cent of seats in the legislature.

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Click to play video: 'Manitoba Election: NDP aims to succeed where PCs failed, MLA says'

Manitoba Election: NDP aims to succeed where PCs failed, MLA says

With Tuesday’s result, the premier-designate makes history, but so did his predecessor — Stefanson was the first woman to serve as premier in Manitoba.

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Stefanson, who replaced former premier Brian Pallister after his resignation 2021, has held the Tuxedo riding for more than two decades. Results in that race are still coming in, but Stefanson announced she will stepping down as PC leader.

When she spoke to supporters Tuesday night, Stefanson congratulated Kinew on his historic victory, and said it was an honour to serve as premier.

In an emotional speech as results continued to roll in Tuesday night, Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont announced that he will be stepping down as leader of his party. Lamont, who had represented the St. Boniface riding, was defeated by the NDP’s Robert Loiselle.

“Ultimately the people have decided, and sometimes you get caught in a wave and doesn’t seem to matter what you do,” Lamont said, calling the campaign one of the hardest he’s ever taken part in, but also one of the best.

“I always knew this (result) was a possibility, but we had to hope beyond hope and keep working and do everything we could to run the best possible campaign.”

The Green Party of Manitoba, which has yet to win a seat in a provincial election, continued that track record Tuesday, with Leader Janine Gibson falling short of her bid for the Wolseley riding, which is projected to be retained by incumbent Lisa Naylor of the NDP.

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Winnipeg mayor Scott Gillingham congratulated Kinew and the NDP on their victory in a release just after Stefanson conceded defeat. Gillingham said he’s eager to work with the new provincial government, and acknowledged Stefanson for her partnership on a number of projects over the past year.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba Election: Dougald Lamont steps down as Liberal leader in emotional speech'

Manitoba Election: Dougald Lamont steps down as Liberal leader in emotional speech

The first person from among any of Canada’s three Indigenous peoples to become a provincial premier was John Norquay, who was Métis, and who led Manitoba from 1878 to 1887.

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