POLITICS

Erin Selby, Former Manitoba NDP Health Minister, Running For Mulcair's Team

09/04/2015 10:26 EDT | Updated 09/04/2016 05:59 EDT
WINNIPEG — Former Manitoba health minister Erin Selby confirmed Friday she is resigning her seat in the legislature to run for the federal New Democrats in next month's election.

Selby, one of five senior cabinet ministers who openly challenged Premier Greg Selinger's leadership last year, was acclaimed as the NDP candidate in the riding of St. Boniface-St. Vital — a seat where the New Democrats usually finish a distant third.

"We've got to work hard and that's what I plan to do — knock on every door that I can and talk to as many people as I can,'' she said Friday.

Selby said she had talked to Selinger and he was supportive.

Selby's move is the latest in the fallout from the internal battle that Selinger barely survived.

With support for the NDP government plummeting in polls last year, Selby and four other ministers called on Selinger to resign in order to help the party survive the next provincial election, slated for April 2016. Selinger refused and Selby and her cohorts resigned from cabinet.

The NDP held a leadership vote in March, which Selinger won by a razor-thin 33-vote margin. Since then, some of the rebels have made plans to leave provincial politics.

Stan Struthers, former municipalities minister, announced earlier this year he will not seek re-election. Theresa Oswald, a former jobs and economy minister who led the attempted coup, has not yet decided whether she will run again.

The two other rebels — former justice minister Andrew Swan and former finance minister Jennifer Howard — have been nominated again and will run under Selinger in next year's election.

Selby is facing an uphill battle. St. Boniface-St. Vital is a traditional Liberal seat, although the Conservatives won it in the last two elections. Conservative incumbent Shelly Glover is not running again. The Liberals have put up popular former city councillor Dan Vandal.

Selby said she has faced such odds before. She was first elected to the legislature in 2007 in Southdale, which until then had been staunchly Progressive Conservative.

"Everyone said I couldn't win and everyone said the NDP could never hold that seat, but the people of Southdale have been kind enough to elect me twice.''

Selby's provincial seat forms part of the federal St. Boniface-St. Vital riding. So does Selinger's.

Selby got support for her campaign launch from several provincial New Democrats, including Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh and fellow rebels Theresa Oswald and Andrew Swan.

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