Voters in Thompson will go to polls June 7 to fill seat held by MLA who died in highway crash

Voters in a northern Manitoba constituency are to go to the polls in a provincial byelection on June 7.

The seat of Thompson includes the city of the same name and several other communities stretching to Hudson Bay and is a longtime NDP stronghold.

It was last held by New Democrat Danielle Adams, who died in a highway crash in December.

The seat has been won by New Democrats in all but two elections since 1969.

The NDP candidate this time is Eric Redhead, former chief of the Shamattawa First Nation.

The governing Progressive Conservatives have nominated Charlotte Larocque, a small-business owner. The Liberals have said they will not field a candidate.

The Progressive Conservatives hold 36 of 57 legislature seats. The NDP has 17 and the Liberals three.

The government made several spending announcements before calling the byelection to avoid running afoul of a ban on such news during any campaign period.

On Monday, the province announced money for a new aquatic centre in Thompson that is to feature multiple pools and a sauna.

Ron Popiel, general manager of the new Hyatt House Winnipeg-South/Outlet Collection, speaks at a government announcement Tuesday in which the province announced supports for hotels in finding the employees they need. (Ian Froese/CBC)

On Tuesday, the government announced it would be using $1 million in federal funding to help some of the business sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the money is to be used by the Manitoba Hotel Association to recruit staff now that more people are travelling and in-person conventions are resuming.

With the labour shortage, association president Scott Jocelyn said workers can pick and choose.

“If you’re looking to work, there’s lots of opportunities available. And to get people hired, you may have to pay more than you’re comfortable paying,” Jocelyn said.

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