City & Politics, Politics

Three-horse race in South Centre

The NDP nominated their federal candidate in Winnipeg South Centre last night, acclaiming local teacher Matt Henderson to carry the party’s banner in the next election. Henderson, an award-winning history teacher at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, is a resident of Fort Garry.

The nomination of Henderson rounds out the roster in South Centre. Already nominated are Jim Carr for the Liberals and incumbent Joyce Bateman for the Conservatives, as well as Andrew Park for the Greens. Henderson’s nomination also signals the New Democrats may be making a stronger play for the former Liberal stronghold than they have done in previous elections.

Manitoba’s Minister of Education and Advanced Learning, James Allum, was the guest speaker at the night’s event, speaking of his own experience as a federal candidate in 2000, and stressing the importance of a strong NDP voice in the next election. Allum described Henderson as, “a sensational candidate for Winnipeg South Centre.”

Henderson, accepting the nomination, spoke of his frustration after a decade under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “I’m doing it for your kids, I’m doing it for my kids, because I can’t stand it anymore.”

Invoking the recent NDP surge in Alberta, Henderson argued those worried about splitting the progressive vote ought to cast their ballot for his party, not the Liberals, in the next election. “If you’re thinking of voting strategically, this time you have to vote NDP,” he said.

Without mentioning him by name, Henderson also took aim at his Liberal opponent, Jim Carr, noting the Liberal’s positions on private delivery of public healthcare, increasing post-secondary tuition, and favouring the transportation of crude oil by rail and pipeline while with the Business Council of Manitoba.

With Henderson, the New Democrats have now nominated 7 of 14 candidates in Manitoba. The Conservatives have nominated 11, the Greens have nominated 10, and the Liberals have nominated all 14. A general election is expected to take place this coming October.