Conservatives look to steal NDP heavy Elmwood-Transcona riding

An NDP Daniel Blaikie sign in Winnipeg ahead of the federal election on Sept. 20. (Source: Mason DePatie/CTV News. Sept 10, 2021.)

The NDP has a long history in the Elmwood-Transcona riding, but it's far from a sure thing come Sept. 20.

Incumbent NDP candidate Daniel Blaikie is no stranger to this riding. This is his third federal election on the ballot, winning in 2015 and again in 2019.

Coming from a construction electrician background, Blaikie believes affordability and climate change are major focuses this election.

"I'm not shy of hard work," said Blaikie. "I know what it is to work hard, to make a living, so what I want to do is to continue to bring that voice and experience to parliament and actually try to get things done for people."

The Conservatives won the riding under the Harper government in 2011 before losing the seat to the NDP by fewer than 100 votes in the following election.

Conservative candidate Rejeanne Caron has been a police officer for 27 years and is an active member of the Winnipeg Police Union. She was unavailable to speak to CTV News.

The blue and orange split makes the Elmwood-Transcona unique, according to Curtis Brown, a political strategist with Probe.

"It's kind of unique within Winnipeg in the sense that it's a Conservative-NDP fight primarily as opposed to Conservative-Liberal or NDP-Liberal, which is what you see in some of the other neighbourhoods in the city," said Brown.

Not to be counted out, candidate Sarah Mirwaldt is looking to be the first Liberal to win the riding.

"I think they should support red because the Liberal party has put forward a very strong plan for Canadians. We are working hard to ensure we move forward for everyone and I think it's a plan everyone can get behind," said Mirwaldt.

Mirwaldt will be graduating from the University of Manitoba this fall with a degree in criminology. She currently works as a legal assistant.

With candidates vying for every vote, Elmwood-Transcona residents are looking at what's important to them.

"I'm really concerned about poverty issues and the homeless and that our Medicare will include pharmacy medications," said Judy Andrich, who was on her way to volunteer at a polling station.

"Well, I think the COVID issue plus recovery after COVID in terms of jobs and the economy," said Bob Jacob, who had just cast his ballot at an early polling station.

"I feel like one of them is how the pandemic is being handled, of course, and the economy. Those are the first things that come to mind, but there are lots of other things out there too," said Kayla Nguyen, who was out for a walk.

Also on the Elmwood-Transcona ballot is PPC candidate Jamie Cumming and the Green Party's Devlin Hinchey.