Winnipeg South is 'a seat to watch' in 2021 Federal Election says political expert

Federal candidates in Manitoba are pounding the pavement and looking to secure votes ahead of the federal election on Sept. 20.

The Winnipeg South riding is one of fourteen seats up for grabs in the province, and Liberal candidate Terry Duguid is out knocking on doors to make sure he didn’t miss any voters. He said Winnipeg South voters have concerns about the future of health care.

“We’ve committed as a Liberal Party to protect our health care by hiring 7,500 new health professionals," Duguid said.

Duguid is the incumbent candidate, he won the seat for the Liberals in the 2015 election, and again 2019.

Trudeau called for an early election after only two years, but Duguid said this is the right time for Canadians to have a say.

“The last time in 2019 there wasn’t a COVID-19 pandemic so we really think Canadians deserve a voice in how we come out of COVID-19.”

NDP Candidate Aiden Kahanovitch is running in a federal election for the first time. He said the Winnipeg South seat alternates between the Liberals and the Conservatives, but no significant changes have been made during that time.

“The NDP platform is really about taking those missed steps and things that have been missed over the last few years and actually putting action behind them.”

Kahanovitch said the housing market is a topic that comes up a lot on the campaign trail.

“The potential for home ownership and long-term housing affordability is a big concern.”

Conservative candidate Melanie Maher is trying to win the seat from Duguid for the second time. In 2019 she received 38.7 per cent of the vote, but lost to Duguid’s 42.1 per cent.

Christopher Adams, a professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba said this is a seat to watch.

“It is a swing riding, and it swung to the side of whichever party has won the national election,” said Adams.

“This riding doesn’t cause a change in government, but when there’s a change in government, this riding switches over.”

Adams said when conservatives are trying to win suburban voters, like the ones in Winnipeg South, they try to appeal to women, and having a female candidate in Maher could be a factor in the outcome.

Other candidates in the Winnipeg South riding are Greg Boettcher from the Green Party, and Byron Curtis Gryba from the People’s Party of Canada.