Rolf Dinsdale waves to the crowd after winning the Liberal nomination for Brandon-Souris on Wednesday evening. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Rolf Dinsdale leaves the podium with his mother Lenore after winning the Liberal nomination for Brandon-Souris on Wednesday evening. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
An "energized and elated" Rolf Dinsdale has been declared the Liberal candidate in the upcoming Brandon-Souris federal byelection.
The media executive addressed the crowd of nearly 200 people who came out to the Royal Canadian Legion for the Liberal nomination meeting on Wednesday night.
"I’m so glad to cross this first hurdle," Dinsdale said. "Thank you so much for your confidence in me. I’ll be the best possible candidate I can be, and work as hard as I can to win this byelection — because we can win."
Of those in attendance, 156 were Liberal members.
Dinsdale defeated Killarney/Turtle Mountain Mayor Rick Pauls, a former Conservative. Candidates chose not to release the voting numbers.
Pauls congratulated Dinsdale on his win and said a few words to the crowd once the results were announced.
"We have a terrific candidate here in Rolf Dinsdale," he said. "The true person that we have to beat in this election wears blue and his name is Mr. Maguire … Let’s repeat 1993 and send Ottawa a message."
Dinsdale will take on NDP candidate Cory Szczepanski, acclaimed Conservative Larry Maguire and Green party candidate David Neufeld in the byelection, which has not yet been called.
While the votes were being tallied, Winnipeg North Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureaux took the podium.
"I can’t help but get that sense of excitement, that in fact there is a very real opportunity here in Brandon," he said. "If we work hard and we don’t take things for granted, then we can in fact make a difference, and don’t let anyone tell you differently."
Dinsdale, 47, is the youngest son of Walter Dinsdale, who served as Brandon-Souris Progressive Conservative MP for 31 years. George Dinsdale, Rolf’s grandfather, served as Brandon mayor and a Conservative MLA.
When asked by the media how he is going to break the Conservative stronghold in Brandon-Souris, Dinsdale reflected on his family history.
"Once upon a time there was a young Progressive Conservative who ran in a byelection in 1951 and took it away when it was a Liberal stronghold and I hope to be able to repeat the feat that my father did then in a byelection in 2013," he said.
Dinsdale was born in Ottawa and grew up between Brandon and Canada’s capital.
He went on to build a successful career in print and digital media, based in Ottawa and Toronto.
He served as publisher of Canadian magazine The Walrus and most recently was part of the executive team that launched broadcast company Blue Ant Media.
Dinsdale said his campaign plan is to "work hard and knock on a lot of doors."
"It’s a wonderful moment for the Liberal party in Brandon- Souris," he said.
"I’ve always felt like we had a chance to win this election … I’m proud to hold the Liberal banner high in the coming byelection."
The byelection is to replace former Conservative MP Merv Tweed, who resigned earlier this year to become the president of Omnitrax Canada.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 10, 2013