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Encyclopedia > Manitoba general election, 1990

The election of September 11, 1990 in Manitoba, Canada was won by the Progressive Conservatives, who took 30 out of 57 seats. The New Democratic Party finished second with 20, while the Liberals fell from 21 to 7.



The 1990 election took place against the backdrop of the failed Meech Lake constitutional accord, which sought to clarify Quebec's position within Canada. The accord, which was signed in 1988, required passage by the federal government and the ten provincial governments before June 23, 1990 to become law. Although Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley had approved the accord in 1987, his government did not bring it before the legislature before their surprise defeat in 1988.

Pawley's replacement, PC leader Gary Filmon, was less inclined to support the deal, and requested that certain aspects be re-negotiated before his government would grant approval. After some reluctance, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney allowed re-negotiations with all provincial Premiers, and convinced Filmon to introduce the accord to the Manitoba legislature shortly before the scheduled deadline. Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs and NDP leader Gary Doer were also willing to support the revised deal.

Some members of Doer's caucus still opposed the accord, however. When it was put before the legislature, NDP MLA Elijah Harper refused to grant unanimous leave for emergency debate, on the grounds that the deal did not recognize the position of aboriginals in Canada's constitutional framework. Harper, the first Treaty Indian to serve in the Manitoba legislature, was strongly supported by aboriginal leaders such as Phil Fontaine and Ovide Mercredi, and continued his protest in the legislature during the following weeks. With assistance from former parliamentary clerk Gord Mackintosh, Harper was able to delay the legislative process until the accord simply could not be passed on time. Harper became a national celebrity, and polls showed that most English Canadians supported his stand.

Ironically, Gary Filmon's Tories may have benefitted from Harper's actions. Filmon was a long-time opponent of the accord, and was a fairly tepid supporter even after the renegotiated compromise was reached. Subsequently, Filmon used the accord's failure to highlight differences between himself and Mulroney, who was becoming increasingly unpopular as Prime Minister.

The Issues

Filmon's Progressive Conservatives made the fewest promises of any major party. Their platform called for an end to abuse of the elderly in retirement homes, environmental initiatives, and low-cost economic development. They proposed to cut the size of the Winnipeg City Council, and vowed not to raise taxes.

The Liberals focused on economic issues, promising a major investment in job training, research and development, and business support. They also proposed to cut the Winnipeg Council, create government grants for tourism and adult education, and restore Tory cuts to health and other programs.

The NDP platform focused on workers' concerns, the environment, preventative health programs and housing. They supported an increase in the minimum wage, affirmative actions programs, and laws which would make it expensive to shut down plants in Manitoba. The also promised not to raise taxes, and opposed the safe of Manfor Ltd.

The small Progressive Party opposed affirmative actions and "distinct status" claims within Canada.

The campaign

Polls indicated that the NDP were the most trusted party on economic issues, followed by the Tories. The NDP were still damaged from their poor performance in the 1988 campaign, however, and began the election in third place. The struggle for government appeared to be between the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives.

The Liberals ran a weak campaign, however, and were overtaken by the NDP following a strong performance from Gary Doer in the leaders' debate. Doer increased the NDP's standings in the last weeks of the campaign, and succeeded in linking Filmon with Mulroney's government on a number of issues. The NDP's return to official opposition status was regarded as a major development after their near-collapse in 1988.

The Results

The Tories continued their dominance in Manitoba's rural south, winning every seat in the region. They also won 13 of 31 seats in Winnipeg and a few ridings to the city's immediate north, enough to provide the party with a majority government.

The NDP won 11 seats in Winnipeg, and swept the province's north. They also won four seats in the mid-northern region, and retained Brandon East, their lone southern riding outside of Winnipeg.

All seven seats won by the Liberals were in Winnipeg, mostly in the centre and northwest of the city.

See also: List of Manitoba general elections

Provincial results

Party Standings
Party Leader Pre-election seats Results
Seats % of votes cast
Progressive Conservative Gary Filmon 24 30 %
New Democratic Gary Doer 12 20 %
Liberal Sharon Carstairs 21 7 %
Progressive Sidney Green 0 0 %
Libertarian Clancy Smith 0 0 %
Confederation of Regions Irene Armishaw(?) 0 0 %
Communist Frank Goldspink(?) 0 0 %
Western Independence Fred Cameron 0 0 %
Independent n/a 0 0 %
Total     57 100.0%

Riding-by-riding results

Party key:


  • (x)Jim Downey (PC) 4773
  • Glen McKinnon (L) 2085
  • Goldwyn Jones (NDP) 1197


Brandon East:

  • (x)Len Evans (NDP) 4760
  • Ron Arnst (PC) 3216
  • Brenda Avlontis (L) 919

Brandon West:

  • (x)James McCrae (PC) 4736
  • Shari Decter-Hirst (NDP) 2374
  • Abby Hampton (L) 1428




  • (x)Jim Ernst (PC) 5419
  • Ken Brown (L) 2912
  • Toni Vosters (NDP) 1084


  • (x)Gary Doer (NDP) 4588
  • Vic Rubiletz (PC) 1937
  • Gunther Grosskamper (L) 1059
  • Fred Cameron (WIP) 168
  • Guy Beaudry (Lbt) 135


  • (x)Jim Carr (L) 4588
  • Tom DeNardi (PC) 3278
  • Neil Cohen (NDP) 2184


  • (x)John Plohman (NDP) 4802
  • Martin Bidzinski (PC) 3424
  • Peter Rampton (L) 1608



  • (x)Jack Penner (PC) 4529
  • Real Tetrault (L) 1739
  • Georgine Spooner (NDP) 1055

Flin Flon:

  • (x)Jerry Storie (NDP) 4153
  • Ron Black (PC) 1126
  • Pascal Bighetty (L) 733

Fort Garry:


  • (x)Ed Helwer (PC) 5118
  • Tom Hughes (NDP) 2666
  • Darlene Skarito (L) 1978


  • (x)Denis Rocan (PC) 4371
  • Cordell Barker (L) 1812
  • Michael Newnan (NDP) 788
  • Warren Murray (CoR) 410


  • (x)Kevin Lamoureux (L) 3602
  • Ajit Deol (NDP) 2637
  • Raj Mehta (PC) 1416
  • Gordon Haddad (WIP) 198


  • Clif Evans (NDP) 2941
  • Ed Trachuk (PC) 2533
  • Duncan Geisler (L) 1781


Kirkfield Park:

Lac du Bonnet:

  • (x)Darren Praznik (PC) 5162
  • Leonard Kolton (NDP) 3142
  • Frank Thibedeau (L) 1309


La Verendrye:

  • Ben Sveinson (PC) 3731
  • Clair Noel (L) 2718
  • Ronald Fiola (NDP) 1938



  • (x)Clayton Manness (PC) 5353
  • Bill Roth (L) 2036
  • Gary Nelson (NDP) 721
  • Mark Edmondson (CoR) 302



  • (x)Reg Alcock (L) 3941
  • Donald Bailey (NDP) 2861
  • Sondra Braid (PC) 2859
  • Jim Weidman (Lbt) 139


  • (x)Donald Orchard (PC) 5497
  • Marilyn Skubovius (L) 833
  • Bert Siemens (NDP) 652

Point Douglas:

Portage La Prairie:

  • (x)Edward Connery (PC) 4276
  • Darlene Hamm (L) 2329
  • Arden Campbell (NDP) 1092
  • Roy Lyall (CoR) 243



  • (x)Gerry Ducharme (PC) 3756
  • Ed Benjamin (L) 2874
  • Bob Agnes (NDP) 2041

River East:

River Heights:


  • (x)Len Derkach (PC) 4382
  • William Nicholson (NDP) 2238
  • Neil Stewart (L) 1757



  • (x)Elijah Harper (NDP) 3798
  • Hugh Wynne (PC) 804
  • George Kernaghan (L) 307

St. Boniface:

  • (x)Neil Gaudry (L) 4928
  • Robert Gooding (NDP) 2046
  • Henri Marcoux (PC) 1921

St. James:

St. Johns:

  • (x)Judy Wasylycia-Leis (NDP) 4312
  • (x)Mark Minenko (L) 2414
  • Lynn Filbert (PC) 1502

St. Norbert:

St. Vital:

  • Shirley Render (PC) 3361
  • (x)Bob Rose (L) 3243
  • Kathleen McCallum (NDP) 2368
  • Doug Browning (WIP) 288

Ste. Rose:

  • (x)Glen Cummings (PC) 3646
  • Ivan Traill (L) 1882
  • Sam Voisey (NDP) 1540

Seine River:

  • Louise Dacquay (PC) 4465
  • (x)Herold Driedger (L) 4418
  • Keith Kendall (NDP) 1792
  • Lyle Cruickshank (WIP) 289



  • (x)Glen Findlay (PC) 5146
  • Deborah Barron-McNabb (NDP) 3374
  • Bob Strong (L) 1958


  • (x)Albert Driedger (PC) 5540
  • Cornelius Goertzen (L) 1171
  • Marcel Lagasse (NDP) 483
  • Ken McAllister (Lbt) 130

Sturgeon Creek:

Swan River:

The Maples:

  • (x)Gulzar Cheema (L) 3293
  • Norman Isler (PC) 2694
  • Tony Valeri (NDP) 2260

The Pas:

  • Oscar Lathlin (NDP) 3390
  • Alfred McDonald (PC) 3247
  • David Merasty (L) 1005


  • (x)Steve Ashton (NDP) 4088
  • Loretta Clarke (PC) 2043
  • Don McIvor (L) 698


Turtle Mountain:


  • (x)Gary Filmon (PC) 7861
  • Campbell Wright (L) 3281
  • Rosemary Ahoff (NDP) 926


  • Becky Barrett (NDP) 3484
  • Ernie Gilroy (L) 2324
  • Clyde Perry (PC) 1584
  • Neil Schipper (P) 128
  • Walter Diawol (Ind) 68
  • Stephen Keki (Ind) 35


post-election developments:

Crescentwood (res. Jim Carr, February 1992), September 15, 1992:

Portage La Prairie (res. Edward Connery, June 23, 1992), September 15, 1992:

Rupertsland (res. Elijah Harper, November 30, 1992), September 21, 1993:

  • Eric Robinson (NDP) 1697
  • George Munroe (L) 1023
  • Eric Kennedy (PC) 614

Rossmere (res. Harold Neufeld, May 12, 1993), September 21, 1993:

  • Harry Schellenberg (NDP) 2990
  • Ed Martens (PC) 2159
  • Sherry Wiebe (L) 1590
  • Cynthia Cooke (Ind) 186

The Maples (res. Gulzar Cheema, June 17, 1993), September 21, 1993:

  • Gary Kowalski (L) 3619
  • Norma Walker (NDP) 2138
  • David Langtry (PC) 1362

Osborne (res. Reg Alcock, July 30, 1993), September 21, 1993:

St. Johns (res. Judy Wasylycia-Leis, August 12, 1993), September 21, 1993:

  • Gord Mackintosh (NDP) 3232
  • Naty Yankech (L) 878
  • June Robertson (PC) 465
  • Neil Schipper (P) 241

Flin Flon (res. Jerry Storie, July 20, 1994)

River Heights (Sharon Carstairs appointed to the Senate of Canada, September 15, 1994)

Preceded by:
1988 Manitoba election

List of Manitoba general elections

Followed by:
1995 Manitoba election

  Results from FactBites:
Manitoba - Search View - MSN Encarta (7173 words)
Manitoba is lower in elevation than areas to the east, west, and south, and serves as a drainage basin for several major rivers.
The major religious groups in Manitoba are the Roman Catholic Church, with 27 percent of the population as members; the United Church of Canada, with 19 percent; and the Anglican Church, with 9 percent.
Manitoba is represented in the Canadian Parliament by 14 elected representatives in the House of Commons and by six senators who are appointed by the federal government.
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In 1957 the electoral districts of Manitoba were redrawn to reflect the population shift from rural to urban areas, particularly to the city of Winnipeg and towns in the south, and also to the northern mining communities.
Manitoba had long sought such diversification as a way to ease the impacts of cyclical downturns in the agricultural sector.
An important issue facing Manitoba’s efforts to promote economic growth in the early 21st century is a shortage of labor, a consequence of slowing immigration and the departure of young, working-age people from the province.
  More results at FactBites »



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