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Major events over the course of the Manitoba election campaign

In this composite image made from three photographs, from left to right, Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Leader Heather Stefanson speaks during a news conference in Whistler, B.C., Tuesday, June 27, 2023; Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew speaks at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023; and Manitoba Liberal Party Leader Dougald Lamont speaks to the media at the Legislature building, in Winnipeg, Tuesday, March 7, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, John Woods, David Lipnowski

WINNIPEG — Manitoba voters head to the polls on Tuesday. Here is a list of the major events during the provincial election campaign:

— Sept. 5: Premier Heather Stefanson calls an election for Oct. 3, the date set out in provincial law. She launches the Progressive Conservative campaign by promising major income tax cuts.

— Sept. 5: The Opposition New Democrats start their campaign with a newspaper ad in which longtime federal Liberal cabinet minister Lloyd Axworthy expresses personal support for NDP Leader Wab Kinew. It is the first of many attempts by the NDP to get votes from traditional Liberal supporters.

— Sept. 6: The Manitoba Liberal Party releases its full platform, which takes a very different tack than the tax cuts promised by the other parties. The Liberals promise more than $1 billion in new spending, paid for in part by higher income and property taxes.

— Sept. 12: Former premier Gary Doer, who enjoyed broad popularity for a decade until his 2009 retirement, returns to the public spotlight at a news conference where he endorses Kinew.

— Sept. 20: The three main party leaders take part in a debate hosted by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. Stefanson and Kinew promise they would not impose any more "lockdowns" if COVID-19 numbers surge again.

— Sept. 21: Two opinion polls, from the Angus Reid Institute and Probe Research Inc, suggest the NDP have a lead in popular support, especially in Winnipeg, where most legislature seats are.

— Sept. 21: In a live televised debate, Stefanson goes on the offensive over her decision not to search the Prairie Green landfill for the remains of two Indigenous women. She uses her first opportunity to ask a question to query Kinew on why he would put searchers at risk from asbestos and other material. Kinew says Stefanson is playing wedge politics.

— Sept. 22: Stefanson promises more money for a project that supports veterans experiencing homelessness. It is her last news conference in Winnipeg until the final day of the campaign. She spends the interim taking part in some public events and touring rural areas.

— Sept. 23: The Progressive Conservatives take out a full-page newspaper ad promoting, among other things, their decision to not search the landfill. It is followed a few days later by large billboard ads that say the party would "stand firm" in opposition to a search.

— Sept. 30: The Progressive Conservatives post a video advertisement online that urges people to "vote like no one is watching" over sombre music. The ad is pulled within hours.

— Oct. 2: On the last day of the campaign, Kinew promises more hospital beds. Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont urges voters to not vote strategically and to give his party a chance at more seats. Stefanson, surrounded by Tory candidates, lists her party's promises and says the economy would be at risk under the NDP. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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