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MLP Adds to Growing Slate of Strong Candidates with Powerhouse Women Advocates

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB -

The Manitoba Liberal Party are adding six strong new women candidates to their growing slate of candidates who have already made extraordinary contributions to their communities.

The Manitoba Liberals have already nominated five women candidates, and are about to nominate six more, including Order of Manitoba inductee Alvina Rundle in the Pas-Kameesak, Eddie-Calisto Tavares in Maples, former School Trustee Cyndy Friesen in Steinbach, Monica Guetre in La Verendrye, Katherine Johnson in Fort Rouge, and Nellie Monias in Keewatinook.

The Manitoba Liberal Party, with the support of strong women, has played a historic role in the advancement of women’s rights in this province. It was a Manitoba Liberal Government that brought in votes for women in 1916, and Manitoba Liberals who elected the first woman MLA, Métis Edith Rogers in 1920. A Manitoba Liberal Government recognized votes for all First Nations in provincial elections in 1953, seven years before the Federal Government recognized the right to vote in federal elections. Edith Rogers’ daughter, Margaret Konantz, was elected the first woman member of Parliament in Manitoba, as a Liberal.

In 1984, Sharon Carstairs was elected the first woman leader of a political party in Manitoba. She was elected MLA with one seat in 1986, and in 1988 won 20 seats and became the first woman leader of the opposition in 1988. Manitoba Liberals also elected the second female party leaders, Ginny Hasselfield; the third female party leader and first Muslim and person of colour, Rana Bokhari; and Interim Leader Judy Klassen was the first First Nations woman to lead a party in the Manitoba Legislature.

“I am humbled that people of such distinction and accomplishment are putting their names forward as candidates for the Manitoba Liberal Party,” said Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, “As a Leader, having the opportunity to work alongside colleagues who are so committed and have such a track record of accomplishment, is an incredible prospect. These women know how to get things done, and in the legislature, we could do so much more. That is a very exciting prospect.”

Candidates to be nominated: Alvina Rundle – The Pas Kameesak - A community advocate for Lake St. Martin and beyond, Alvina Rundle is dedicated to helping Indigenous people involved in the justice system. She was instrumental in establishing courts in remote Indigenous communities and recruiting court Elders to serve, while also providing language interpretation services and sentencing assistance to respective case judges.

In 2011, Lake St. Martin, Dauphin River and Pinaymootang First Nations were all deliberately flooded by the NDP government of the day. A lawsuit found the government culpable, but there are still many people who are homeless as a result of the NDPs actions, whom the PCs continued neglect.

Eddie Calisto-Tavares – Maples - Eddie Calisto-Tavares was a candidate for the MLP in 2019. In 2020, when her father tested positive for Covid in the Maples Care Home, she donned PPE and personally went in to care for him. Aside from residents, Calisto-Tavares was one of th

e only people present in Maples when Covid swept through the facility, and 57 people died. Ever since, she has been a champion for the families who lost loved ones in that tragedy. She has lived in the Maples for over 30 years and has worked for decades helping thousands of people transition to new jobs.

Katherine Johnson – Fort Rouge - Katherine Johnson is a lifelong resident of Winnipeg, and has spent years working behind the scenes in politics and political offices, including in the office of the late Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, Jim Carr. She was an elected member of the Civil Service Superannuation Board and has experience owning and operating small businesses in Manitoba.

Cyndy Friesen – Steinbach - Cyndy Friesen spent many years working for CN r

ail and is a long-term resident of Steinbach was a school trustee from 2006-2018 in the Hanover School Division. She is strong advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized as a trustee and community member. Friesen ran for the MLP in 2019 and decided to run in Steinbach after witnessing, first-hand, the crisis in Manitoba’s health care system. In 2021, she received the Manitoba Honor 150 award in recognition of her 30 plus years volunteering her time to enhance the quality of life in her community.

Monica Guetre – La Verendrye – Monica Guetre ran for the MLP in her home constitu

ency of la Verendrye in 2011. She has a science degree from the University of Winnipeg, has managed an aboriginal development corporation in the Northwest Territories, and has worked in finance for a pharmaceutical company, and on a family farm in the La Verendrye area.

Nellie Monias – Keewatinook - A lifelong resident of Keewatinook, Nellie is passionate about serving her community of St. Theresa Point First Nation and surrounding communities. Among various positions, Nellie has served her community as a nursing station clerk and student services guidance counsellor. She regularly volunteers working with First Nations community members for the improvement of medical and social issues, including ensuring educational opportunities and activities are accessible for youth and children both on-reserve and for off-reserve community members.

Already Nominated:

Cindy Lamoureux – Tyndall Park - After working for the Long-Term and Continuing Care Association of Manitoba, Cindy Lamoureux defeated an incumbent NDP Minister as MLA for Burrows in 2016. Once elected, she was the first MLA to call for Manitoba to create an independent office of a Senior’s Advocate. In 2019, she changed constituencies to Tyndall Park and defeated another NDP incumbent. She has amended and passed a number of bills, including winning unanimous passage of a bill to ensure retired teachers have a place on their pension board, a change that the Retired Teachers Association of Manitoba had been seeking for over a decade. Together with M

LP Leader Dougald Lamont, Lamoureux secured a commitment to the first-ever outside review of Peter Nygard’s cases, finally resulting in Nygard’s arrest on Manitoba charges for the first time in 40+ years.

Michelle Budiwski – Spruce Woods - A business owner and entrepreneur, Michelle has also been a strong advocate for mental health support, addiction awareness, treatment, and suicide prevention. A resident of Rivers, she has volunteered extensively throughout the area, raising awareness and support for underrepresented groups, organizations, and causes.

LeAmber Kinsley – Riel - Leamber is a Métis woman, born in Manitoba to

a military family with deep roots in the community. She moved to Riel as a child, attending school and finding her first employment in the neighbourhood. As a front-line addictions worker and rehabilitation counsellor, Ms. Kensley is very familiar with the challenges modern society presents, and how instrumental social services are to Manitobans experiencing those challenges.

Shandi Strong – Fort Garry - has been giving back to her community for over 30 years. Shandi is a the founder of the Trans Pride Rally and March, the first trans candidate for public office in Canada, as well as an advocate and inspiration to her community in Winnipeg and beyond. Known for organizing and contributing to some of the community’s biggest events and programs, she has worked in the legislature for MLA Jon Gerrard and is passionate about returning to the Legislature to become the first trans MLA in Manitoba history.

Rhonda Nichol – Kirkfield Park - is a nurse with 37 years’ experience in health care – as an EMT, a nurse at Grace Hospital and CancerCare. She has seen first-hand the struggles that our health care system faces, and has been a powerful and caring advocate for patients and seniors. She worked with Dr. Jon Gerrard to pass Family Council Legislation that will guarantee Seniors and their families a voice in personal care homes.

“It takes courage and determination to get involved in politics. I have had the opportunity to get to know these women and those they surround themselves with. I am incredibly proud to stand alongside such strong candidates who care immensely about our province and who I know will make real positive change for Manitobans,” said Cindy Lamoureux, MLA for Tyndall Park.

Previously nominated candidates also include:

Dougald Lamont, MLA St. Boniface; Dr. Jon Gerrard, MLA River Heights; Uche Nwankwo, Waverley; Willard Reaves, Fort Whyte; Neil Stewart, Lakeside; Garry Alejo, Burrows; Jean-Luc Bouché, Radisson; Trenton Zazalak, Brandon East; Charles Ward, Assiniboia; Marc Brandson, Tuxedo; Peter Bastians, St Vital; Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Southdale; Ernie Nathaniel, Fort Richmond and Jerald Funk, Point Douglas.

More nominations are planned shortly.

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