PCs appoint Klein to Kirkfield Park – Winnipeg Free Press

The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba has officially nominated Kevin Klein as its candidate for the upcoming Kirkfield Park by-election.

“Over the next few days, of course, we will be calling a by-election,” Premier Heather Stefanson told the crowd at Klein’s inauguration event Monday night.

Former MP and cabinet minister Scott Fielding held the Winnipeg West seat for the Conservatives from 2016 until his resignation in June. Provincial law requires the by-election to take place before Dec. 13.

Kirkfield Park PC candidate Kevin Klein jokes with Prime Minister Heather Stefanson during Klein’s nomination meeting on Monday. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

“I’m thrilled to…get back to representing the residents,” Klein said.

He is no stranger to Kirkfield Park – the constituency straddles Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood, the city ward he has represented as a councilor for the past four years.

Klein ended his municipal term in August when he announced his candidacy for mayor. He finished third on October 26, obtaining 14.78% of the vote.

“I don’t see it as running for office three times in a year,” said Klein, who would have originally campaigned for his seat as city councilor.

“I run to support people in this community… If I have to do it three times, four times, five times, that’s fine with me.”

Klein had no opposition for the PC nomination; however, in the by-election he will face Logan Oxenham of the NDP, who has campaigned since early September; Dennis Bayomi of the Green Party; and Rhonda Nichol from the Liberals.

Stefanson was among several Tory MPs to endorse Klein at the nomination event, which was attended by more than 60 people.

“He’s already represented part of that community very well as a city councilor, and I think it’s just great that he’s doing that for us provincially,” Stefanson told the audience. The prime minister was later unavailable for comment.

Environment Minister Jeff Wharton, Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson and MPs Obby Khan, Blaine Pedersen, Scott Johnston and Ron Schuler were also present.

Klein’s experience in the public eye will help her transition into provincial politics, Johnson said.

“He’s committed to public service,” the MP for Interlake-Gimli said when asked about Klein’s quick change after the Winnipeg mayoral race.

(Klein said he plans to run for provincial seat before running for mayor.)



Kevin Klein expresses his gratitude as he accepts the PC bid for Kirkfield Park during a nomination meeting at the Sturgeon Heights Community Center on Monday. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

Tim Diack, a Winnipeg police officer who ran in the St. James neighborhood this fall, also supported Klein at the event.

“I think crime is still at a crisis level in our city,” Klein said. “The (PC) party has done a lot of great things, so I want to make sure we keep pushing this agenda forward.”

In addition to crime, Klein said he would tackle drag races and auto shows in the area that bother residents. He wants to know more about the health care file and focus on Grace Hospital, he said.

The Progressive Conservatives have represented Kirkfield Park since its formation in 1981, except for Sharon Blady, who held the seat from 2007 to 2016 for the NDP.

Klein said he viewed the by-election as a “horse race” where everyone, so far, is tied.

The Manitoba Liberals named Nichol, a research nurse with CancerCare Manitoba, on November 10.

“If people really want to show their appreciation for health care workers, they can show it by electing one to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly,” Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said in a statement.

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Gabrielle Piche

Gabrielle Piche
Journalist

Gabby is a huge fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.

Christy J. Olson