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The Progressive Conservatives continue to prepare for the next provincial election, and Wednesday evening in Boissevain party faithful turned out to hear from Premier Brian Pallister.

The Conservatives were holding their founding and nomination meeting for the newly formed Turtle Mountain Constituency. The new boundaries and constituencies are in place for the next election in 2020. Turtle Mountain runs from the Saskatchewan border east to the Manitou area, and from Highway #2 down to the U.S. border.

Pallister says the government continues to work at improving the province’s financial picture, reducing debt and getting back to a balanced budget. “To do that we need good people in government and that’s why Doyle Piwniuk, MLA for Arthur-Virden, should continue on because he’s doing a great job of representing the people. With the new boundaries it’s important he gets nominated early so he has a chance to go out the new areas and meet the people. We are proud of the work he has done and for their support people of the area have given him and his family.”

Doyle Piwniuk’s Arthur-Virden Constituency disappears with the call of the next election, but he looks forward to running for a seat in Turtle Mountain to represent the people of Southern Manitoba.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the new people in Turtle Mountain. That’s the one thing about when I ran for MLA is I like meeting and working for the people, and having a voice for the southwest part of the province.”

Killarney-Turtle Mountain Mayor Rick Pauls questions the Conservatives timing and procedures, because he felt it was slanted towards the incumbents, and didn’t give anyone thinking of running for the nomination a fair chance. Premier Brian Pallister defended his party’s process, and said everything is being done by the book.

“There’s always concerns that people may have, but the fact is we are following the rules and the constitution was developed by the members of the party. If the mayor or anyone else doesn’t like it they are welcome to join the party, and bring forward proposals for change. In the meantime, we are going to follow the rules that were laid down by the members of the party, and that’s what we are doing to a tee now.”

When Turtle Mountain becomes a constituency Doyle Piwniuk, who lives in Virden, will live outside the constituency. He was asked if he would consider moving to a community in Turtle Mountain.

“The first thing I have to do is win the election and then we’d have to sit down and discuss what our plans are as a family. I know my kids will be going to university by the time the next election comes up and there are options out there and we are looking at all those different options.”

Piwniuk said no matter where he lives the campaign is underway.

Turtle Mountain’s nomination in Boissevain was the fifth meeting for the Conservatives. Premier Pallister says they have 52 more to go and they hope to get those done over the next weeks and months.

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