View From the Legislature

Leadership Dates Set for PC Party

  • Kelvin Goertzen, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Steinbach

Following the provincial election last October, then Premier Heather Stefanson announced that she would be stepping down from her role as leader of the PC Party of Manitoba. In January she officially stepped away from leadership and a few weeks after, resigned her seat as the MLA for Tuxedo. Since January, the PC Party has had as its interim leader Lac du Bonnet MLA, Wayne Ewasko.

Initially, it was thought that the PC Party would hold its leadership convention in the fall of this year. However, after discussion among party officials it was determined that more time would allow for a broader field of candidates to consider entering the race and also to allow more time for party officials to prepare for a contest that will involve thousands of members casting a ballot across the province.

It was recognized that the last leadership contest for the PC Party, which was held in fall of 2021, was conducted on too short of a time frame and one which put significant organizational stress on staff and volunteers. As the PC Party is currently the Official Opposition in the Manitoba Legislature and not the government, there is the ability to have a longer leadership race.

This past week, the PC Party officially announced key dates for the leadership contest. The date of the actual leadership event where the new leader will officially be selected was previously announced as April 26th, 2025. Last week was the official opening of the leadership contest which means that nominations for candidates can now begin to be accepted.

To be eligible to vote in the leadership contest, an individual must be a member of the PC Party of Manitoba. Memberships can be purchased online on the PC Party website. Memberships must be purchased by February 28th, 2025, which is the cutoff date for membership sales for the leadership race. It is expected that ballots will be mailed to members and are to be returned by mail or dropped off at the PC Party. A leadership committee has been established and is being chaired by Brad Zander, who is a Manitoba lawyer.

While changes in leadership in political parties can be a difficult and unsettling time for those who are involved or connected to the party, it is also a time of renewal and excitement. It is a unique time to become involved in a political party and to help shape its future and the direction of the organization. The selection of the leader of a political party is also one of the most important things that happens within a political party as it is fundamental to its electoral success. It is also important because the next leader also becomes the leader of the Official Opposition in the Manitoba Legislature tasked with ensuring that the government is diligently and respectfully held to account for the decisions it makes.

A leadership forum is being planned for the fall and as the leadership process moves forward there is likely to be announcements on events that will allow you to meet the leadership candidates individually that will provide an opportunity to learn about their vision for the party and the province of Manitoba as they will be vying to be the next Premier of Manitoba.

I look forward to keeping you up to date on this process.