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Fourth Straight Majority

NDP Wins

Manitoba s incumbent Ag Minister Stan Struthers is among provincial lawmakers headed back to their seats in the legislature in Winnipeg in the wake of a fourth majority government in a row for the New Democrats.

Struthers, a school teacher and high school principal before entering politics, was named ag minister in 2009 by Premier Greg Selinger, and previously was Gary Doer s conservation minister, starting in 2003.

It s not yet known whether Struthers will be re-appointed to the ag portfolio, but the NDP, whose base is largely within Winnipeg and points north, is relatively light on farm experience compared to Hugh McFadyen s Tories, who own most seats in agricultural Manitoba.

The Tories incumbent ag critic, grain grower and Charolais breeder Cliff Graydon of Woodmore, handily held his riding of Emerson.

It remains to be seen whether Graydon will continue as ag critic in a relatively deep talent pool that includes former Keystone

Agricultural Producers president Ian Wishart, winning a first term as the MLA for Portage la Prairie.

The Oct. 4 loss may be a bitter pill for the Tories, who scored just under 44 per cent of the total popular vote compared to the NDP s 46 per cent. The NDP, however, converted its share to 37 of 57 seats, compared to 19 seats for the Tories and one for provincial Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard.

photo: Co-operator file photo

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