Candidates in Portage-Lisgar campaigning in final weekend before election

It is the final weekend of campaigning before the federal election, and in Portage-Lisgar candidates are making the most of the few days left before Canadians cast their vote.

Conservative Candidate Candice Bergen, incumbent for Portage-Lisgar, said people she has spoken to want to see change in Ottawa.

“They like our plan, they like the fact that Erin O’Toole has a plan for recovery,” said Bergen.

“It’s been presented early on in the campaign, it’s very substantial, and so I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback at the doors.”

Bergen is a high-profile candidate for the conservatives. In September 2020, she was appointed Deputy Leader of the Opposition by O’Toole.

She said her party is going to limit government spending.

“We’re going to get to work on getting the deficit under control. We’re going to do that in ten years, if we can do it faster than that, that’d be great, but at a (maximum) in ten years.”

Bergen isn’t the only candidate campaigning for votes.

NDP candidate Ken Friesen was born and raised in Winkler, he said voters he’s talked to are having a hard time keeping up with the cost of living.

“I spoke with one gentleman who has his own farm, but he works two days a week in town because he needs to make ends meet. People like this need something like a universal basic income," he said.

Friesen said the riding is very conservative, but the NDP movement is growing.

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada’s sole Manitoba candidate is Jerome Dondo, and this is his fourth election in Portage-Lisgar. He said vaccination is a hot topic for people in the area.

“If you’re ok with the vaccine passports than (choose) Conservatives, same as Liberals, either one of them will work. If you’re against (vaccine passports), we’re the option.”

Kelly Saunders, associate professor of political science at Brandon University, believes this riding will go to Bergen.

“I don’t think she’s vulnerable. Although I do think it is interesting, the liberals have really been targeting the riding as well. The liberal candidate there is Andrew Carrier, he’s the vice president in the Manitoba Metis Federation.”

Saunders said the People’s Party of Canada could also take some votes away from the PCs.

“(Bergen may) win by a smaller majority, but she’s still going to win the riding I anticipate.”

Other candidates in the riding include Liberal candidate Andrew Carrier, and Solomon Wiebe from the People’s Party of Canada.

Election day is Monday, Sept. 20.