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Wowchuk Re-elected to Swan River Region

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Manitoba will once again have another Progressive Conservative (PC) majority government after the province was painted PC blue during the revealing of election results last Tuesday (Sept. 10).
The PC party, led by Brian Pallister, claimed 36 seats in the Manitoba Legislature – down from 40 – to win the opportunity to govern. The New Democratic Party – led by Wab Kinew – gained some ground, earning all four northern Manitoba ridings, and a few in Winnipeg, bringing their seat numbers to 18, which is six more than they had when the legislature dissolved. The Manitoba Liberal Party – led by Dougald Lamont – lost one seat and their official party status, going back down to three seats after they had four going into the election. The Green Party of Manitoba and three other fringe parties were unable to win any seats.
Voter turnout was down slightly from the 2016 election, although the number of voters increased. Of the 853,378 eligible voters, 473,249 cast ballots for a 55.4 percent turnout.
With all polls reporting, unofficial local results had incumbent PC candidate Rick Wowchuk with 5,529 votes and NDP candidate Shelley Wiggins following with 2,064 votes, while Liberal candidate David Teffaine received 417 votes. A total of 8,010 ballots were cast and counted, up from 2016’s 7,268. Local voter turnout was at 57 percent in the newly-drawn Swan River electoral division.
Following the announcement an estimated victory for Wowchuk as the poll results trickled in, Wowchuk addressed a crowd of supporters, thanking those who were able to turn re-election efforts into another shot at representing the Swan River constituency.
“It was those people who had confidence in me and I am going to represent them to the fullest over the next four years,” he said. “I am going to work my butt off to make sure we get things for this constituency and I stand up for them as their voice in the Manitoba Legislature.
“The most important thing is that we have a representative on the side of government, a majority government, and that plays a large part in the constituency. A lot of times, after there is a big thunderstorm, the sun does come out, and the sun is going to shine tomorrow. By looking at those results, the sky is going to be blue.”
Wowchuk acknowledged that the government led by Pallister had to make some tough and unpopular decisions during the last three-and-a-half years in office.
“Change is tough, and the people here believe in that,” he said. “Our premier ran the spending of this province like it was his own house, and we have a responsibility for spending those tax dollars. You want to see it spent the right way and a really efficient way.
“The only thing better than today in Manitoba is tomorrow in Manitoba. I have some real aspirations for the constituency. We aren’t always going to get the results we want, but we are going to try to resolve many issues with everybody here.”
All three parties who won seats managed to hold on to their respective constituencies. The overall voter turnout was estimated at 55.5 percent.
Elections Manitoba still considered these results unofficial as of Sept. 12.
Official election results and poll by poll tallies will be available soon on the Elections Manitoba website at www.electionsmanitoba.ca.

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Jeremy Bergen
REPORTER
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