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WINNIPEG: The NDP won a third and historically important mandate to govern Manitoba this week.

CUPE members and staff played a large role in the election and saw their efforts pay off in a number of important constituencies.

In particular, three CUPE women ran for the job of Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and “did the union proud” according to CUPE President Paul Moist.  Marilyn Brick (formerly of Local 500) was re-elected.  Sharon Blady (Local 3909 member) ran in a Tory stronghold and won. And CUPE National Staff Representative Denise Harder ran in another Tory stronghold and came a very respectable second.

The election was significant for a number of reasons. First, the party has consistently increased its representation in the legislature in each of the last three elections, from 32 to 35 to 36. Second, yesterday gave the NDP the largest majority of seats the NDP has held, and the largest for any party since 1962 (when the Tories had 36 seats). And of these seats, 13 MLAs are now women, another record.

“This election victory is an affirmation of Manitobans’ confidence in a party that puts public services and people ahead of tax cuts and privatization,” said Moist.

It’s also a tribute to a huge community of supporters, including hundreds of CUPE activists and staff who gave so much of their personal time to the election.  I’m extremely proud of the three CUPE sisters who ran and did such a great job in representing the ideals of our union in the election. They truly are inspiring.”