Manitoba’s two biggest provincial political parties have picked their Flin Flon candidates for next month’s election.
The Manitoba NDP and the ruling Progressive Conservative (PC) party have each entered a candidate as of the filing deadline for the upcoming election, which will be held Oct. 3. No other candidates had been confirmed for the riding according to the Elections Manitoba website, including no candidate for the Manitoba Liberal Party or any other political entity.
The Manitoba NDP selected incumbent MLA Tom Lindsey earlier this year. Lindsey, who has represented Flin Flon in provincial legislature since 2016, will be running for his third term in office. Lindsey, a former miner, safety officer and long-time member of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7106, currently serves as the critic for natural resources and northern affairs.
“Tom is a proud, long-time labour activist and former mine worker who understands the priorities of everyday families and working people,” reads Lindsey’s bio on the Manitoba NDP website.
“He’s fought against PC cuts to northern health care and highway maintenance and the privatization of Lifeflight and government water bombers. As part of the Manitoba NDP team, Tom will fix health care and make your life more affordable.”
The PC candidate was announced shortly before the deadline as Charlotte Larocque. Larocque has run for both the PCs and the federal Conservative Party of Canada in previous elections, basing her campaigns out of Thompson. Larocque finished third in the federal Churchill-Keewatinook Aski riding in the 2021 election, then ended up second of two candidates in a byelection in Thompson last year to fill the seat of deceased former MLA Danielle Adams.
Larocque is a former president of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce, an entrepreneur and campus manager for the University College of the North. Larocque, whose campaign says has lived across the north including in Flin Flon at different points, is Metis and originally from Leaf Rapids.
“She carries real-world experience working with various industries, communities, and governments, and has extensive experience working collaboratively with First Nations communities,” reads the PC website.
“Charlotte is a strong, influential leader who brings professionalism and innovation to the table. Charlotte has a passion for empowering people to create economic prosperity for all.”
About 15,000 people call the Flin Flon riding home, including Flin Flon, Cranberry Portage and Snow Lake on the riding’s western side, Cross Lake and Norway House in the riding’s southeastern corner and Pukatawagan, Lynn Lake, Leaf Rapids, Brochet, Lac Brochet and others further north, running all the way up to the Manitoba-Nunavut border. Just over a third of registered voters cast ballots in the riding cast ballots in 2019, the last time a provincial election was held.
The NDP has held the riding since 1969, when Thomas Barrow won his first of three terms as the region’s MLA. Since then, four other MLAs - Jerry Storie, Gerard Jennissen, Clarence Petterssen and Lindsey - have run for the NDP in the region and won. All five lived in Flin Flon or nearby communities.