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Heather Stefanson is Manitoba’s new premier-designate

Heather Stefanson is Manitoba’s new premier-designate

The province’s PC Party elected her its new leader on Oct. 30

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Manitobans now know who will lead the government into the province’s general election in 2023.

Heather Stefanson, the Progressive Conservative MLA representing Tuxedo, won the PC Party’s leadership and the premiership on Oct. 30 over Shelly Glover by fewer than 400 votes.

Glover, a former MP representing Saint Boniface, also served as the federal minister of Canadian heritage and official languages from 2013 to 2015 under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Former Premier Brian Pallister’s resignation earlier in the year triggered the leadership race. Kelvin Goertzen became premier for about 60 days leading up to the leadership race.

With her victory, Stefanson will become Manitoba’s first female premier.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to stand here with all of you, making history in Manitoba,” Stefanson said in her victory speech.

Stefanson, who first won her riding in 2000, enters the premier’s role with plenty of experience.

She became Manitoba’s deputy premier and minister of justice and attorney general in 2016. In 2018 she received an appointment as the minister of families and in 2021 became the province’s minister of health.

She also worked in federal politics.

She was a special assistant in the office of the Prime Minister under Brian Mulroney. And in 1993 she worked an assistant to Charlie Mayer, the federal minister of agriculture at the time.

Stefanson’s first orders of business will be to assemble her cabinet, set a date to recall the legislature and call a byelection to fill Pallister’s seat in Fort Whyte.

Manitoba’s opposition is concerned the province will experience the same leadership it saw under Premier Pallister.

“As Pallister’s Deputy from the beginning, Heather Stefanson was his right-hand every step of the way,” Wab Kinew, leader of the Manitoba NDP, said on Twitter. “The PCs are desperate to change the channel. They want to make us forget what they’ve done, but Manitobans won’t fall for it.” has since learned Shelly Glover is challenging the results of the leadership race.

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