Dougald Lamont stays on as Manitoba Liberal leader after unanimous vote

Dougald Lamont will continue as Manitoba Liberal party leader as delegates voted unanimously against having a leadership vote at the party’s annual general meeting on Saturday.

“I cannot possibly ask for anything more,” said Lamont, who is also the MLA for St. Boniface. “It’s just really great to have that vote of confidence.”

The party holds the leadership review vote after every provincial election, or roughly every four years. If more than 50 per cent of Liberal delegates say they want a leadership convention, a leadership race is called.

This year’s meeting was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with only organizers and MLAs attending in person, the Liberals said in a news release.

Lamont said the unanimous support shows the party is headed in the right direction.

“We’ve tried to mix being practical and positive and making good suggestions for what the government should be doing,” he said. “And I hope that’s starting to pay off.”

The meeting, which was originally scheduled for this spring, also saw 21 resolutions passed, the release said. Motions raised included prioritizing early childhood education and creating an advocate for seniors.

Lamont said the party’s goal is to elect more Liberals in the next election and help people during the pandemic.

“We’re just going to keep pushing as hard as we can,” he said. “We want to prove to Manitobans that we’re reasonable, we’re responsible, and they can trust us to work for them, and especially when it really matters — in the middle of a crisis. “

Lamont became leader of the Manitoba Liberals in 2017, coming in just eight votes ahead of Tyndall Park MLA Cindy Lamoureux. Lamont was also up against longtime River Heights MLA and former Liberal leader Jon Gerrard, who threw his support behind Lamoureux after he was voted out during the first round of ballots.

Lamont won a byelection the following year, giving the party the fourth legislature seat it needed for official party status. In last year’s election, the Liberals only kept three seats and lost that status.