Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/6/2012 (3336 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
IT was just a passing moment, but one in which everyone in the room knew who commanded the floor.
A local hotel owner had already rambled on about city hall not returning his phone calls, and when he got up a second time, Brian Pallister cut him off with a few curt words and a gesture of his hand.
"You've already asked one question of me," Pallister told him. "Please sit down and let someone else have a turn. I'll speak to you privately after we're done."
The guy plunked himself down.
And Pallister carried on answering questions about how he'll lead Manitoba's Progressive Conservatives to victory in the next provincial election, four years from now.
He spoke Tuesday to a mostly friendly audience of the Conservative Club of Winnipeg, a club established in 1889.
At this point, Pallister is about six weeks away from being acclaimed leader of the PC party. No one else has stepped up to contest him to replace outgoing leader Hugh McFadyen. And it's unlikely anyone will.
While Pallister said he's taking nothing for granted until the July 26 candidate cut-off date, it's clear he and his wife, Esther, are already moving forward with righting the Tory ship and blowing some wind in its sails.
Pallister said he's criss-crossed the province over the past few weeks meeting and recruiting more and more people to join his cause. He and his handlers also continue to sell party memberships -- he had to sell 1,000 memberships to qualify as leadership candidate.
"There's a ton of organizational work that needs to be done, and I don't say that to disparage anything that's being done in the past," he said. "As a political party, we need internal renewal.
"We won't have change unless the PC party is well-organized, it is recruiting and reaching out, it is building a portfolio of ideas for change and it makes the case for change with Manitobans very clearly. That requires a lot of troops, a lot of feet on the ground."
The question for some in the room at the Norwood Hotel is how Pallister will beat back the NDP when they attack him and his record as a former MLA and MP.
Former broadcaster and PC candidate Mike Brown asked him about his communications strategy and businessman Jack McLaughlin asked him how he'll build the party to be more inclusive, so that it's not stacked with "downtown suits."
Pallister replied his strategy won't be reacting to whatever the NDP throws at him, but by being honest, hard-working and open to everyone.
"Manitobans aren't stupid," he said. "They'll catch on, but we have to let them know."