Manitoba Members’ Efforts Key to Electing First Female Premier

November 12 • 2021

President of the MPFFA and Winnipeg Local 867 and IAFF Canadian Trustee Alex Forrest with Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson

Heather Stefanson was sworn in as Manitoba’s new premier following a hotly contested and very close election. Her election as the province’s first female premier was, in no small part, due to the work of IAFF members. The IAFF has long said to elected leaders that we don’t have liberal or conservative issues — we have fire fighter issues.

In the final vote tally, Stefanson won by 363 votes; the margin of victory was decided by the work of the Manitoba Professional Fire Fighters Association (MPFFA) locals, including Thompson Local 2200. These efforts were spearheaded by the United Firefighters of Winnipeg Local 867 and the MPFFA Executive Board, who ran a grassroots get-out-the-vote campaign. In the days leading up to the election, fire fighters mobilized and secured more than 800 memberships in the conservative base who carried Stefanson to her victory.

Thompson Local 2200 President Travis Mirus and Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson

Premier Stefanson has committed to increasing presumptive cancer coverage for Manitoba’s fire fighters to include pancreatic, thyroid, and the female reproductive ovarian and cervical cancers.

“I am so grateful for the work put in by the Manitoba professional fire fighters,” says premier Stefanson. “I’ve always had their backs and I was so pleased to see them come out in numbers to support my candidacy. I look forward to continuing our important work together.”

IAFF Canadian Trustee and President of Winnipeg Local 867 and the MPFFA  Alex Forrest says, “We will always support our elected friends. The party designation doesn’t matter. If you support fire fighters and our issues, we will support you.”

President of Thompson Local 2200 Travis Mirus adds, “I am so proud of our membership who understood the critical importance of this election and got involved. Heather earned our votes and we look forward to working with her to improve the lives of our fire fighters and their families.” .

“Politics and elections are critical to our work as a union,” says General President Edward Kelly, “Our Manitoba members stood up and stood out; their success will serve as a blueprint for future campaigns across our two countries.”