Provincial Leaders Forum to highlight election issues

The WinnipegREALTORS® Association’s chair of its civic and legislative committee is predicting that plenty of verbal punches will fly between the three party leaders during the Monday, May 14, Provincial Leaders Forum.

“There should be blows traded that will get these people really engaged,”  said committee chair Don Cook. 

The forum at the Franco-Manitobain Cultural Centre starts at 7:30 p.m. and features NDP Leader Premier Gary Doer, Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen and Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard. The forum is being presented by WinnipegREALTORS®, the Manitoba Real Estate Association and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. The sponsor of the Monday evening forum is the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association.

“There’s a lot of power right from the  premier to his challengers to the quality media panel,” said Cook.

Serving on the media panel are CJOB talk show host Richard Cloutier, Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck and Winnipeg Free Press provincial political reporter Mia Rabson. Members of the media panel will pose the majority of questions to the provincial party leaders.

The moderator is former CBC political reporter and now federal Crown prosecutor Jennifer Dundas.

“We’ll be looking at all the issues that interest Manitobans — justice, the environment, health care, jobs, education, keeping young people in the workplace,” said Cook.

“Generally speaking, what he will be asking the leaders about are issues that contribute to quality of life,” he added. “We want Manitoba to be a great province. 

WinnipegREALTORS® has endorsed the Quality of Life program which is administered by MREA and modeled after a highly-successful REALTOR®-established initiative in Washington State.

The five principles of Quality of Life are insuring economic viability, providing housing opportunities, preserving the environment, protecting property owners and building better communities.

“Quality of Life is a benchmark that we use to judge the positive or negative impact an initative will have on Manitoba,” explained MREA political action committee chair Lorne Weiss.”

During past civic, provincial and federal elections, candidates, regardless of party, have been asked by the MREA to  pledge their commitment to Quality of Life.

“By adapting the principles of Quality of Life, we are proving our commitment is broader than the real estate industry,” added Weiss.

“As REALTORS®, we are stakeholders in the province,” said Cook, explaining one reason the MREA and WinnipegREALTORS® Association are presenting their third successive Provincial Leaders Forum. The two real estate organizations also helped stage forums during the 1999 and 2003 provincial election campaigns.

“We want the public to know what’s going on and to make informed decisions when they vote,” Cook added.

Cook said over 500,000 Manitoba households will be able to view the forum because it will be televised live by Shaw Cable TV in Winnipeg with a live feed going out to the Westman Region. In Winnipeg, the telecast can be seen on Shaw Cable Channel 9.

The public can obtain tickets — seating is limited — for the forum by calling Erika at the WinnipegREALTORS® 

Association office, 1240 Portage Ave., at 786-8854.