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Premier calls byelections for Jan. 28

WINNIPEG — Premier Greg Selinger called byelections Friday for Jan. 28 in the rural constituencies of Morris and Arthur-Virden.

Both were previously held by Progressive Conservatives and are considered safe Tory seats.

Morris had been vacant since Mavis Taillieu resigned in February.

By the time the byelection is held, it will have gone unfilled for 350 days.

Arthur-Virden came open when incumbent Larry Maguire resigned to run for the federal Conservatives in the riding of Brandon-Souris.

He won a close victory over Liberal candidate Rolf Dinsdale on Nov. 25.

Nominations in the two constituencies will close on Jan. 13 and advance polls will open Jan. 18-25. On voting day, polls will remain open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Conservatives have been highly critical of the long wait to fill the Morris vacancy.

Morris PC candidate Shannon Martin said Friday he thought it was political payback for the fact his party forced the legislature to sit all summer over its decision to raise the provincial sales tax.

“If he (Selinger) could have waited any longer (to call the byelection), I guarantee you he would have waited longer,” said Martin, a former director of provincial affairs with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business who now heads a non-profit organization that helps people with physical disabilities or health conditions find employment.

According to Manitoba law, byelections must be held within a year of a vacancy.

Martin was nominated by the PCs in May.

The NDP nominated farmer and small business owner Dean Harder as its candidate in Morris earlier this month.

Last March, the Liberals announced they had chosen then University of Manitoba fourth-year economics student Jeremy Barber to represent them in Morris.

Harder said the delayed byelection call in Morris “is going to be a non-issue pretty quickly” once the campaign gets underway.

“It’s really going to be about the candidate, right?” he said Friday.

“People are going to be voting on what the plan is for the future.”

Harder said the fact the government recently announced plans to invest $215 million to upgrade Highway 75, a good part of which runs through the constituency, shows the NDP has hardly ignored the area.

In Arthur-Virden, Oak Lake resident and schoolteacher Bob Senff will carry the NDP colours while Doyle Piwniuk, a Virden financial planner, will represent the Progressive Conservatives.

The Liberals have yet to announce a candidate.

» Winnipeg Free Press

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 28, 2013

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WINNIPEG — Premier Greg Selinger called byelections Friday for Jan. 28 in the rural constituencies of Morris and Arthur-Virden.

Both were previously held by Progressive Conservatives and are considered safe Tory seats.

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WINNIPEG — Premier Greg Selinger called byelections Friday for Jan. 28 in the rural constituencies of Morris and Arthur-Virden.

Both were previously held by Progressive Conservatives and are considered safe Tory seats.

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