Manitoba has undergone a political transformation as Premier-Elect Wab Kinew and his New Democratic Party (NDP) emerged victorious in the recent provincial election, ending seven years of Progressive Conservative (PC) rule under outgoing Premier Heather Stefanson. The historic shift in power has sparked a wave of reactions from municipal leaders across the province.
As of the time of publication, Kinew and the NDP had secured 33 out of 57 seats in the province, securing a majority government. Stefanson's PC party, which entered the night with 35 seats, was significantly reduced to 22 seats, while the Liberal party, holding three seats in the previous legislature, was left with only one seat.
Early Wednesday morning, Municipal leaders from across the province began to react to the news to the new incoming premier, and their eagerness to work with their new government and local members of the legislative assembly.
Winnipeg City Mayor Scott Gillingham took to social media to congratulate the new incoming Premier, "I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to Premier-elect Wab Kinew and the Manitoba NDP on their well-earned electoral victory. Mr. Kinew and his party clearly have the trust and mandate of Manitobans, and I am optimistic about what we can achieve for our city and our province.
"Together, we have the opportunity to address some of the most pressing issues our community faces. Our shared vision for a single, comprehensive plan to combat homelessness, inspired by the Houston model, resonates deeply with me. By prioritizing a housing-first approach complemented by wraparound support services, we can make a real difference in the lives of many, ensuring everyone has a place to call home ," Gillingham said.
Mayor Sharilyn Knox of the City of Portage la Prairie expressed her congratulations and support for Premier-Elect Kinew and local MLA Jeff Bereza in a heartfelt Facebook post. She wrote, "Please join me in congratulating our newly elected Premier-to-be, Wab Kinew, and local MLA, Jeff Bereza. Let's celebrate their incredible achievements and support them as they work tirelessly to make our province and our community a better place to live, work, and thrive.
"Together, let's embrace this exciting new chapter and work hand in hand to create a prosperous future for everyone. I look forward to working with them both," the Portage la Prairie Mayor wrote.
Henry Siemens, the Mayor of Winkler, also congratulated the successful local candidate, Carrie Hiebert, in a social media post. Siemens said, "Congratulations on your election win last night, Carrie Hiebert. I'm looking forward to working with you as we continue to grow our community." Siemens added, "Congratulations on your election win premier elect Wab Kinew. You have accepted a big job. There is much work to do. Your message of 'together we are capable of great things' resonates with us and we're ready to go to work with you and your team to get it done."
Councillor Scott Phillips of the Rural Municipality (R.M.) of Sifton took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his enthusiasm for the newly elected Sprucewoods MLA, Grant Jackson. He said, "Glad to spend the night with NEW Sprucewoods MLA Grant Jackson. We are honoured to have you as our strong rural voice in (Winnipeg)."
These reactions from municipal leaders across Manitoba illustrate a spirit of collaboration and optimism as the province enters a new political era. The focus now turns to the policies and initiatives the newly elected government will pursue, with high hopes for positive changes that will benefit communities throughout the keystone province.