Wed . 19 May 2019

New Democratic Party of Manitoba

new democratic party of manitoba canada, new democratic party of manitoba hydro
The Manitoba New Democratic Party NDP; French: Nouveau Parti démocratique du Manitoba is a social-democratic political party in Manitoba, Canada It is the provincial wing of the federal New Democratic Party of Canada, and is a successor to the Manitoba Co-operative Commonwealth Federation It is currently the opposition party in Manitoba


  • 1 Formation and early years
  • 2 Party leadership contest in 1968
  • 3 Provincial election of 1969
  • 4 In power
  • 5 Declining popularity in the late 1980s
  • 6 Electoral defeat and years in opposition 1988–1999
  • 7 Return to government 1999–2016
    • 71 Doer government
    • 72 Selinger government
  • 8 Membership
  • 9 Party leaders
  • 10 Election results
  • 11 See also
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links

Formation and early years

In the federal election of 1958, the national Co-operative Commonwealth Federation CCF was reduced to only eight seats in the Canadian House of Commons The CCF's leadership restructured the party during the next three years, and in 1961 it merged with the Canadian Labour Congress to create the New Democratic Party NDP

Most provincial wings of the CCF also transformed themselves into "New Democratic Party" organisations before the year was over, with Saskatchewan as the only exception There was very little opposition to the change in Manitoba, and the Manitoba NDP was formally constituted on November 4, 1961 Future Manitoba NDP leader Howard Pawley was one of the few CCF members to oppose the change Outgoing CCF leader Russell Paulley easily won the new party's leadership, defeating two minor figures who offered little in the way of policy alternatives

The NDP did not initially achieve an electoral breakthrough in Manitoba, falling from eleven seats to seven in the provincial election of 1962 They recovered to ten seats in the 1966 election, but were still unable to seriously challenge Dufferin Roblin's Progressive Conservative government

Party leadership contest in 1968

Many in the NDP considered Paulley's leadership a liability, especially after the 1966 election Paulley was known as an old-style labour politician, and could not appeal to the broader constituency base that the party needed for an electoral breakthrough In 1968, he was challenged for the party leadership by Sidney Green, a labour lawyer from north-end Winnipeg

The 1968 leadership challenge was unusual, in that many of Paulley's supporters wanted him to resign the following year, so that he could be replaced by federal Member of Parliament MP Edward Schreyer Some also regarded the challenge as reflecting ideological divisions in the party, with Green depicted as a candidate of the radical left Green's supporters tended to be from the party's youth wing, while Paulley was supported by the party establishment and organized labour

Paulley won the challenge 213 votes to 168, and resigned the following year Edward Schreyer entered the contest to replace him, and defeated Green by 506 votes to 177

Provincial election of 1969

The NDP won 28 of 57 seats in the 1969 election, and formed a minority government after gaining the support of maverick Manitoba Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Assembly MLA Laurent Desjardins Although the party had been expected to increase its parliamentary presence, its sudden victory was a surprise to most political observers

The question of leadership was important to the NDP's victory After Dufferin Roblin resigned as Premier in 1967, the Progressive Conservatives chose Walter Weir as his replacement While Roblin was a Red Tory, Weir was from the party's rural conservative wing, and alienated many urban and centre-left voters who had previously supported the Tories The Liberals, for their part, chose Robert Bend as their leader shortly before the election Like Weir, Bend was a rural populist who had difficulty appealing to urban voters The Liberal Party's "rodeo-theme" campaign also seemed anachronistic to most voters in 1969

Schreyer, by contrast, was a centrist within the NDP He was not ideologically committed to democratic socialism, and was in many respects more similar to Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau than to the province's traditional NDP leadership He was also the first of Manitoba's social-democratic leaders who was not from an Anglo-Saxon and Protestant background A German-Austrian Catholic from rural Manitoba, he appealed to constituencies that were not previously inclined to support the NDP

In power

During the years of NDP government, major tax and social reforms were carried out, a major hydroelectricity development project was launched in the north of Manitoba, while the province spent heavily on public housing Schreyer's first administration introduced several important changes to the province It amalgamated the city of Winnipeg, introduced public auto insurance, and significantly reduced Medicare premiums Schreyer's cabinet was divided on providing provincial funding for denominational schools with Green and others opposing any such funding, but resolved the issue by a compromise The government also continued energy development projects in northern Manitoba

Schreyer's government was re-elected with a parliamentary majority in the 1973 provincial election His second ministry was less ambitious on policy matters than was his first, though the government did introduce a new tax on mining resources In the 1977 election, Schreyer's New Democrats were upset by the Tories under Sterling Lyon

Schreyer resigned as party leader in 1979, after being appointed Governor-General of Canada Howard Pawley was chosen as interim leader over Sidney Green and Saul Mark Cherniack in a caucus vote, and later defeated Muriel Smith and Russell Doern to win the party's leadership at a delegated convention Green left the NDP soon thereafter, claiming "the trade union movement and militant feminists" had taken control of the party In 1981, Green formed the Progressive Party of Manitoba, joined by New Democratic MLAs Ben Hanuschak and Bud Boyce

Despite these defections, Pawley's New Democrats were able to win a majority government in the 1981 election Pawley's government introduced progressive labour legislation, and entrenched French language services in Manitoba's parliamentary and legal systems Doern, who had served as a cabinet minister in Schreyer's government, left the NDP in 1984 on the language issue

Declining popularity in the late 1980s

The New Democrats were re-elected with a narrow majority in the 1986 election Over the next two years, the party suffered a significant decline in its popularity Auto insurance premiums rose significantly during this period, and the government's support for the Meech Lake Accord also alienated some voters Future party leader Gary Doer has claimed that an internal party poll put the NDP at only 6% popular support in early 1988

Early in 1988, Jim Walding, a disgruntled NDP backbencher, voted with the opposition against his government's budget This defection brought about the government's defeat in the house, and forced a new election before the NDP could recover its support base Pawley immediately resigned as party leader, though he continued to lead a caretaker administration as Premier

Gary Doer narrowly defeated Len Harapiak on the third ballot of the leadership convention which followed Doer declined to be sworn in as Premier after the convention

The Pawley government's achievements included the construction of the Limestone hydro project in northern Manitoba, and the enactment of the Manitoba Human Rights Code which included, for the first time in Manitoba, protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

Electoral defeat and years in opposition 1988–1999

The NDP was defeated in the 1988 election, winning only 12 seats out of 57 Gary Filmon's Tories won 25 seats, and the Liberal Party under Sharon Carstairs won 20 seats to supplant the NDP as the official opposition Most of the NDP's seats were in north-end Winnipeg and the north of the province Doer was not personally blamed for his party's poor performance, and remained as leader

Filmon called another provincial election in 1990 to seek a majority mandate He was successful, but Doer brought the NDP back to official opposition status with 20 seats, benefiting from a strong personal showing the leaders' debate

The NDP began the 1995 election well behind the Tories and Liberals, but received a last-minute surge in popular support and came very close to forming government The party won 23 seats, with the Liberals falling to only three

Filmon's Tories lost much of their popular support between 1995 and 1999, due to increased unemployment, the privatization of Manitoba Telecom Services MTS and a vote-manipulation scandal in the 1995 election Voters were also unnerved by Filmon's announcement that his government would undertake a further shift to the right if reelected With the Liberals suffering from internal divisions, the NDP were able to present themselves as the only viable alternative The 1999 election was considered too close to call until election day, but the NDP benefited from a decline in Liberal support and won 32 seats to form a majority government Doer was sworn in as Premier after eleven years in opposition

Return to government 1999–2016

Doer government

The Doer government did not introduce as many radical initiatives as the Schreyer and Pawley governments, though it retained the NDP's traditional support for organized labour Manitoba has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada as of 2004, and Doer's government remained generally popular with the electorate

In the 2003 election, the NDP were re-elected with 35 seats and almost 50% of the popular vote, an impressive result in a three-party system Doer was re-elected in his east-end Winnipeg riding of Concordia with over 75% of the popular vote, and the NDP also made inroads into traditional Tory bastions in south-end Winnipeg

Doer became the only NDP premier in Manitoba history to capture a third majority when his party was re-elected during the 2007 provincial election It won more seats than it had before: 36 Again, support was gathered from the south and western areas of Winnipeg which were traditionally thought to be safe for the Progressive Conservatives

Under Doer, the NDP ran a moderate government that introduced a succession of balanced budgets Doer's first budget, delivered in 2000, removed 15,000 low-income Manitobans from the tax rolls and introduced $150 million in tax breaks over three years while projecting a $10 million surplus His 2003 budget, the last of his first term, reduced provincial taxes by $827 million and increased spending by about 5%, mostly in health and education

Despite a series of economic setbacks, the government was able to post a balanced budget in 2004 through increased taxes and drug premiums as well as civil service reduction through attrition Tobacco and liquor taxes were increased and the provincial sales tax expanded to cover more services, although Doer rejected a panel recommendation to increase the sales tax by 1%

The government was able introduce a more expansive budget in 2005 after an infusion of federal revenues, reducing personal and property taxes, increasing spending by 35%, and putting $314 million into a "rainy day" fund Doer's 2006 and 2007 budgets introduced further tax cuts, and the 2007 budget offered increased education spending and a new child benefit to assist low-income families

At the Manitoba NDP's March 2009 convention, Doer announced that Manitoba would continue its commitment to education, training and research despite a global economic downturn and a slowing economy He argued that the province was still recovering from the Filmon government's spending cuts during the economic downtown of the 1990s, and that his policies would allow Manitoba to emerge from the recession in a strong, competitive position His government introduced a balanced budget with economic stimulus programs a few weeks later, even as the global recession forced other provincial governments across Canada into deficit

Selinger government

After leading the party for over two decades, Doer retired as Premier and leader of the NDP on 27 August 2009 and was named Canadian Ambassador to the United States the next day Following Doer's retirement Greg Selinger became leader of the party at the leadership convention in October 2009 Despite gloomy predictions, Selinger led the NDP to its fourth straight majority government in the October 2011 general election, surpassing Doer's record and winning 37 seats

In April 2013, the Selinger government did not fulfill an earlier promise not to increase the provincial sales It instead implemented a 1 percentage point increase in the provincial sales tax from 7% to 8%, which resulted in a precipitous decline in popular support for the government and, ultimately, a caucus revolt against Selinger's leadership culminating in the resignation of five cabinet ministers Due, in part, to the unpopularity of the tax increase, the NDP fell far behind the Opposition Progressive Conservatives in public opinion polls In the fall of 2014, several cabinet ministers privately asked Selinger to resign in hopes that the party would recover under a new leader However, Selinger declined In September 2014, during a caucus retreat, several MLAs openly told Selinger that he needed to resign However, he refused again A month later, at the end of October Jennifer Howard, Fort Rouge, minister of finance, Stan Struthers, Dauphin, minister of municipal government, Theresa Oswald, Seine River, minister for jobs and the economy, Andrew Swan, Minto, minister of justice and Erin Selby, Southdale, minister of health and several senior party officials went public with their call for Selinger's resignation On November 3, the five ministers resigned from cabinet due to their opposition to Selinger's continued leadership They did, however, remain in the NDP caucus as backbench MLAs Selinger responded on November 9 by asking the party executive to hold a leadership election during the party's annual convention scheduled for March 6–8, 2015, stating his intention to be a candidate The party executive subsequently agreed Theresa Oswald, one of the five rebel ex-ministers, challenged Selinger for the leadership and so did Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton who had not protested against Selinger but who resigned from cabinet to enter leadership contest At the March 8, 2015 leadership election, Ashton was eliminated on the first ballot and Selinger prevailed on the second ballot with 5093% of ballots cast, defeating Oswald by 33 votes

The Selinger government's popularity never recovered from the 2013 decision to raise the PST It was heavily defeated at the April 19, 2016 provincial election, dropping to only 14 seats, the party's worst showing since 1988 The Progressive Conservatives under Brian Pallister were elected to a majority government Selinger announced his intention to resign as party leader in his concession speech Logan MLA Flor Marcelino was named interim leader on May 7, 2016


Like its federal counterpart, the Manitoba NDP has historically had more long-term members than other registered parties in the province It also has fewer short-term members who are signed up to influence nomination contests

Party leaders

Picture Name Term start Term end Date of Birth Date of Death Notes
Russell Paulley November 4, 1961 June 7, 1969 November 3, 1909 May 19, 1984 First Leader
Edward Schreyer June 7, 1969 January 22, 1979 December 21, 1935 16th Premier of Manitoba

22nd Governor General of Canada
Howard Pawley January 22, 1979
interim leader until
Nov 4, 1979
March 30, 1988 November 21, 1934 December 30, 2015 18th Premier of Manitoba
Gary Doer March 30, 1988 October 17, 2009 March 31, 1948 20th Premier of Manitoba

Resigned to become Canadian Ambassador to the US
Greg Selinger October 17, 2009 May 7, 2016 February 16, 1951 21st Premier of Manitoba
Flor Marcelino May 7, 2016 September 16, 2017 interim leader
Wab Kinew September 16, 2017

Election results

 % of popular
1962 Paulley 7 / 57 7 3rd 1520% PC majority
1966 Paulley 11 / 57 4 3rd 130,102 2314% PC majority
1969 Schreyer 28 / 57 17 1st 128,080 3827% NDP minority
1973 Schreyer 31 / 57 3 1st 197,585 4231% NDP Majority
1977 Schreyer 23 / 57 8 2nd 188,124 3862% PC majority
1981 Pawley 34 / 57 11 1st 228,784 4738% NDP Majority
1986 Pawley 30 / 57 4 1st 198,261 4150% NDP Majority
1988 Doer 12 / 57 18 3rd 126,954 2362% PC minority
1990 Doer 20 / 57 8 2nd 141,328 2880% PC majority
1995 Doer 23 / 57 3 2nd 165,489 3281% PC majority
1999 Doer 32 / 57 9 1st 219,679 4451% NDP Majority
2003 Doer 35 / 57 3 1st 195,425 4947% NDP Majority
2007 Doer 36 / 57 1 1st 200,834 4773% NDP Majority
2011 Selinger 37 / 57 1 1st 199,069 4616% NDP Majority
2016 Selinger 14 / 57 23 2nd 112,562 2574% PC majority

See also

  • New Democratic Party of Manitoba leadership elections


  1. ^ Christopher Adams 1 January 2008 Politics in Manitoba: Parties, Leaders, and Voters Univ of Manitoba Press pp 129– ISBN 978-0-88755-355-4 
  2. ^ Barry Ferguson; Robert Wardhaugh 2010 Manitoba Premiers of the 19th and 20th Centuries University of Regina Press pp 401– ISBN 978-0-88977-216-8 
  3. ^ Journeys: A History of Canada by R D Francis, Richard Jones, Donald B Smith, R D Francis, Richard Jones, and Donald B Smith
  4. ^ David Roberts, "Manitoba raises health-care spending", Globe and Mail, 11 May 2000, A2 The actual surplus for 2000-01 was $26 million See David Roberts, "Manitoba budget promises more spending, faster tax cuts", Globe and Mail, 11 April 2001, A7 His second budget, in 2001, pursued a consciously middle-of-the-road path by increasing government spending on education, health and infrastructure, while also bringing forward tax cuts for corporations and individuals See David Roberts, "Manitoba budget promises more spending, faster tax cuts", Globe and Mail, 11 April 2001, A7; Helen Fallding, "NDP plays it safe", Winnipeg Free Press, 11 April 2001, A1 The 2002 budget made use of $288 million from Manitoba Hydro over a period of three years, and increased taxes on cigarettes on maintain a balanced budget See "Smokers suffer big tax hit to keep Manitoba in black", Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 23 April 2002, A5; David Kuxhaus, "Tapping Hydro profits best approach, NDP says", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 April 2002, A13 Doer defended the Hydro decision as a bold move that allowed the province to balance its budget without dipping into the Fiscal Stabilization Fund See "Manitoba legislature wraps up lengthy spring session", Canadian Press, 9 August 2002, 12:25
  5. ^ Daniel Lett, "Spending up, taxes down", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 April 2003, A1; Frances Russell, "NDP does just enough to survive", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 April 2003, A14 Manitoba later announced that it would post a deficit for the fiscal year ending in 2003, using a clause in the province's balanced-budget legislation that permits deficit spending to cover emergency expenses Greg Selinger, Doer's finance minister, cited the damage caused to Manitoba's economy by forest fires, drought and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy mad cow disease See Mia Rabson, "Provincial government faces deficit", Winnipeg Free Press, 27 March 2004, A3
  6. ^ Michelle Macafee, "Manitoba increases taxes, drug premiums to balance 2004-05 budget", Canadian Press, 19 April 2004, 17:45
  7. ^ Leah Janzen, "Doer rejects tax plan", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 2004, A1
  8. ^ Mia Rabson, "Doer's bonanza budget", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 March 2005, A1
  9. ^ Steve Lambert, "Manitoba government plans small tax cuts and new law on drug-addicted kids", Canadian Press, 5 March 2006, 11:11; Steve Lambert, "Tax cuts, new spending promised", Globe and Mail, 5 April 2007, A10
  10. ^ Steve Lambert, "Recession requires more, not less, social spending: Doer, Layton", Canadian Press, 7 March 2009, 04:52pm
  11. ^ Doer accessed the province's "rainy day fund", and committed less money than in past years to paying down the province's debt See Bruce Owen, "Manitoba tables balanced budget in face of recession", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 March 2009, Canwest News Service; "Manitoba announces surplus budget", National Post, 26 March 2009, A4
  12. ^ a b "Selinger picked as Manitoba's next NDP premier" CBC News 17 October 2009 Retrieved 2010-11-25 
  13. ^ Kevin Engstrom 27 August 2009 "Premier Gary Doer resigns" Winnipeg Sun Retrieved 2010-11-25 
  14. ^ "Manitoba NDP leadership: Greg Selinger re-elected, remains premier" CBC News March 8, 2015 Retrieved March 8, 2015 
  15. ^ a b c "A timeline of the Manitoba NDP leadership crisis" Metro March 8, 2015 Retrieved March 8, 2015 
  16. ^ "5 Manitoba ministers resign from Premier Greg Selinger's cabinet, citing 'grave concerns'" 
  17. ^ http://wwwwinnipegfreepresscom/canada/manitoba-premier-greg-selinger-will-face-party-leadership-vote-in-march-282069911html
  18. ^ "BREAKING: Steve Ashton enters Manitoba NDP leadership race" Global News December 22, 2014 Retrieved December 22, 2014 
  19. ^ "Greg Selinger remains leader of Manitoba NDP, province's premier" CBC News March 8, 2015 Retrieved March 8, 2015 
  20. ^ "'Heart-breaking night': Future of Manitoba NDP unclear after loss to PCs" 
  21. ^ "Defeated NDP candidate says he and others lost because of outgoing premier" 
  22. ^ "'Years of experience Manitoba NDP appoint Flor Marcelino as interim party leader" 
  23. ^ Ian Stewart, Just One Vote: Jim Walding's nomination to constitutional defeat Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2009, p 5

External links

  • Official website

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