Understanding the Manitoba Election 2016

Campaigns, Participation, Issues, Place

Karine Levasseur (Editor), Andrea Rounce (Editor), Barry Ferguson (Editor), Royce Koop (Editor), Christopher Adams (Author), Jillian Austin (Author), Richard Balasko (Author), Curtis Brown (Author), Colleen Bytheway (Author), Emmet Collins (Author), Sid Frankel (Author), Joan Grace (Author), Rory Henry (Author), Derek Kornelsen (Author), Kiera L. Ladner (Author), Allen Mills (Author), Aaron Moore (Author), Jim Mulvale (Author), Susan Prentice (Author), Kelly Saunders (Author), Todd Scarth (Author), Wayne Simpson (Author), Dan Smith (Author), Paul G. Thomas (Author), Mary Agnes Welch (Author), Lori Wilkinson (Author), Jon Young (Author)


The 2016 Manitoba election campaign began after more drama than any in the past two decades. A focus on trust, leadership, and the PST supported voters’ desire for change, and resulted in the landslide election of Brain Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives after nearly seventeen years of NDP government.

Understanding the Manitoba Election 2016 offers an early analysis of the campaign and insights into the decision that Manitoba voters made on April 19, 2016.

A team of two dozen political experts—academics, policy analysts, and journalists—followed the campaign and contribute not just to a post-election review, but also to the major discussions that will permeate provincial life over the next four years.

Whether it’s regarding the political parties, social, economic, and cultural organizations, public institutions, or key policy areas, these essays—available as an open-access e-book two weeks after the election—contribute to a strengthened understanding of the province.

Published in association with the University of Manitoba’s Duff Roblin Chair in Government.

About the Authors

Karine Levasseur is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Andrea Rounce is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Barry Ferguson is a Professor of History and currently Duff Roblin Professor of Manitoba Government at the University of Manitoba. His work is in political ideas in Canada, particularly liberalism and federalism, as well as provincial politics and government.

Royce Koop writes about political parties, representation, local politics, and online political communication. He is the author of Grassroots Liberals: Organizing for Local National Politics (UBC Press, 2015), which won the 2014 Seymour Martin Lipset Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association, and, with Peter J. Loewen, Jaime Settle, and James H. Fowler, “A Natural Experiment in Proposal Power and Electoral Success,” American Journal of Political Science 58, no. 1 (2014).

Christopher Adams holds a PhD from Carleton University and was a pollster from 1995 to 2012. He is the author of Politics in Manitoba and a frequent media commentator on social and political issues. He currently serves as the Rector of St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba.

Jillian Austin is a reporter at the Brandon Sun. While her main beat is civic affairs, she has a wide range of experience reporting on education, health, as well as provincial and federal politics.

Richard Balasko was the Manitoba Chief Electoral Officer from 1990-2010. He also served as the Electoral Boundaries Redistribution Commissioner twice. His previous service includes Elections Canada, Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and numerous international missions. He is the co-editor, The Informed Citizens' Guide to Elections: Electioneering Based on the Rule of Law (Carswell, 2015).

Curtis Brown is a longtime Manitoba political analyst and pollster. He worked as a reporter and editorial page editor with the Brandon Sun and has been a frequent op-ed contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press. He is a former vice-president with Winnipeg’s Probe Research Inc. and currently works in Toronto as a senior research associate with Environics’ Corporate and Public Affairs practice.

Colleen Bytheway is an Instructor, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba, and Interim Instructor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba. Colleen has had a very interesting nursing career working on the front line, in administration, government, regulation, and now in education. She completed her graduate degree in political studies, and now plans to pursue a PhD in Nursing with hopes of doing research in health policy and social equity.

Emmet Collins is a PhD candidate in political science at Carleton University and teaches Canadian politics at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on federalism, intergovernmental relations, and public policy. Find his most recent article “Alternative Routes: Intergovernmental Relations in Canada and Australia” in Canadian Public Administration 58(4).

Sid Frankel is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. His academic interests include poverty, income security policies (especially basic income) and the non-profit sector. He is a long time member of the steering committee of Campaign 2000 to End Child Poverty.

Joan Grace is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Winnipeg where she teaches Canadian politics, women and politics and social movements. Joan’s current research analyses women’s policy advocacy and institutional practices which structure the women’s equality agenda within the Canadian parliamentary system.

Rory Henry is the Director of Planning and Priorities in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Manitoba. He also teaches Manitoba Politics and Government at the University of Manitoba. He was the Policy Secretary to Cabinet from 2005 to 2012.

Derek Kornelsen holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and is an Assistant Professor at the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on Settler and Indigenous approaches to decolonization in health, politics and law.

Kiera L. Ladner is Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in at the University of Manitoba. Her current SSHRC-funded research includes: a digital archives in marginalized communities project with Shawna Ferris; and a comparative Indigenous constitutional law and politics project. She is also working on an Indigenous response to Canada@150 collection with Myra Tait.

Allen Mills is a graduate of Western University and has taught Political Science at the University of Winnipeg since 1971. He has observed Manitoba politics since the by-election in Wolseley constituency in 1972. He is the recent author of Citizen Trudeau; An Intellectual Biography, 1944-1965.

Aaron Moore is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Winnipeg. He is an expert on urban politics and public policy, and author of the book Planning Politics in Toronto from the University of Toronto Press.

Jim Mulvale is Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. His academic interests include poverty reduction, basic or guaranteed income, and the historical and theoretical foundations of social work and social welfare. He is a board member with the Basic Income Canada Network.

Susan Prentice is Professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba, a member of the Child Care Coalition of Manitoba, and a longtime feminist. She specializes on childcare and her research focuses on family, women’s work, social policy and the state, market forces/privatization, and social movement organizing.

Kelly Saunders is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Brandon University, where she teaches a variety of courses in Canadian and provincial politics. Her work on the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party has been published in Disengaged? Fixed Date, Democracy, and Understanding the 2011 Manitoba Election (2014) and Manitoba Politics and Government (2010).

Todd Scarth is assistant professor in the Department of History and Global Political Economy program, University of Manitoba. He advised all five Ministers of Finance in the Doer-Selinger governments, where he held several senior positions, including Director of Research and Planning.

Wayne Simpson is Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Manitoba. His recent research interests include balanced budget legislation, social assistance, and redistributive tax policies. He received the 2014 Mike McCracken Award for Economic Statistics from the Canadian Economics Association and the 1999 John Vanderkamp prize for the best article in Canadian Public Policy.

Dan Smith studies and writes about public policy in Manitoba. Appointed in 2012 as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Business, and Science, Dr. Smith currently serves as the interim Vice-President Academic and Research at University College of the North.

Paul G. Thomas is Professor Emeritus of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba where he taught for over forty years. When he was not appearing on television or being quoted in the newspaper, family and friends would call to ask if he was okay.

Mary Agnes Welch joined Probe Research in 2016. Before that, she spent 14 years as an award-winning reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, covering local politics and public policy. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school and she was a Southam journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College in 2012-13.

Lori Wilkinson is a professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. She specializes in immigration and refugee studies, racism, settlement, and health among newcomers. Her current work examines the settlement experiences of refugees, settlement of French-speaking newcomers, and the experiences of Indigenous students in post-secondary education.

Jon Young is a Professor and Acting Head of the Department of Educational Administration, Foundations & Psychology in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. He is of co-author of the books Understanding Canadian Schools: An Introduction to Educational Administration (2007) and Teacher Certification and the Professional Status of Teachers in North America (2012).