Heather Stefanson Becomes First Female Premier Of Manitoba

Glover has not conceded to Stefanson, which could set the stage for a legal showdown

Since the creation of Manitoba on the 5th of July 1870 by Louis Reil, there has never been a female Premier elected to lead the province. Just hours ago, that all changed. Heather Stefanson narrowly beat out former Member of Parliament and retired Police Officer Shelley Glover to become the new leader of the Conservative Party and Manitoba’s Premier-designate.

The leadership race was triggered when Premier Brian Pallister resigned in August of this year, setting the stage for Conservatives to chart a new course. Leading up to today’s election, the Conservative party had confirmed there has been issues getting ballots out to members of the party that are eligible to vote. That admission has already cast doubts on the voting process and will likely leave Goertzen as acting Premier longer than expected.

Stefanson won the leadership race by a margin of fewer than 400 votes out of approximately 16,500 that were cast. Glover had asked for the voting to be delayed to ensure all mail-in ballots were received, but that did not happen. The Party had initially identified about 1,000 ballots that were not sent out but insisted they made it in the mail in time for the voting.

As of now, Shelley Glover has not conceded the leadership race to Stefanson and no timeline has been set for a transfer of power. Glover has implied she plans to address the situation tomorrow once she has time to speak with her team.

In her acceptance speech, Stefanson called for party unity, but in a contested election a possible vote recount and assertions of possible voting irregularities may just do the opposite.

Image source Stefanson social media