Progressive Conservative Party candidates, 1997 Canadian federal election

The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada ran a full slate of candidates in the 1997 federal election, and won 20 seats out of 301 to emerge as the fifth largest party in the Canadian House of Commons. Many of the party's candidates have their own biography pages; information about others may be found here.


=Gregg Crealock (St. Catharines)=

Crealock graduated from the Sheridan College high school equivalency program in 1974. He worked as assistant manager of markets for the Royal Bank of Canada from 1982 to 1985, and was a senior manager with the Bank of Nova Scotia from 1985 to 1988. [] ] In 1986, he opened the family-owned Plain & Fancy Restaurant. Crealock was chair of the St. Catharines Chamber of Commerce in the 1990s. []

Crealock received 6,503 votes (13.41%), finishing third against Liberal candidate Walt Lastewka. He was 40 years old in 1997 ("Globe and Mail", 16 April 1997).

Brian McCutcheon (Scarborough Southwest)

McCutcheon was born on May 25, 1967. He received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Waterloo in 1991, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1995. [] He has worked as an engineer and computer consultant, and was a lawyer in Toronto at the time of the election. If elected, he promised to work to establish a parental responsibility act ("Toronto Star", 30 May 1997).

McCutcheon received 5,294 votes (13.67%), finishing third against Liberal incumbent Tom Wappel.

=Angie Tomasic (Stoney Creek)=

Tomasic was born in northern Greece on September 15, 1961, and moved to Hamilton with her family when she was two years old ("Hamilton Spectator", 18 May 1996). She began working as a bank manager in 1984, and had become a senior assistant branch manager with Royal Bank by the mid-1990s. [] She was also a part-time student at McMaster University in this period, working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree ("Hamilton Spectator", 27 May 1995).

Tomasic unsuccessfully campaigned for Hamilton's public school board in 1988 and 1991, and ran for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the 1995 provincial election. She endorsed welfare reform and the abolition of affirmative action programs ("Hamilton Spectator", 19 May 1995) in the 1995 provincial election, and was credited with running a stronger campaign than expected. She finished a credible third in Hamilton Centre, where the Progressive Conservatives have not historically polled well.

In 1996, Tomasic was chosen as the federal Progressive Conservative candidate for a Hamilton East by-election against Liberal cabinet minister Sheila Copps. Former party leader Joe Clark campaigned with her in the city ("Spectator", 11 June 1996). She placed third, behind both Copps and a New Democratic Party candidate.

She won the party's nomination for Stoney Creek in 1997, and finished in third place against Liberal Tony Valeri.

Reid Kelner (Selkirk—Interlake)

Kelner is the owner of the Winnipeg Beach Hotel, and was a trustee for the Evergreen School Division at the time of the election. [David Kuxhaus, "Liberals pelted from all sides", "Winnipeg Free Press", 29 May 1997, A11; David Kuxhaus, "Tory slams vote pamphlet", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 May 1997, B8.] He won his party's nomination by a single vote over former Member of Parliament Felix Holtmann; local councillor Clay McMurren was also a candidate. [Paul McKie, "New riding but same old Felix", "Winnipeg Free Press", 27 May 1997, A8. See "Kelner gets Tory nod", "Winnipeg Free Press", 25 October 1996, A14. Kelner was 38 years old at the time of the election. David Kuxhaus, "Tory slams vote pamphlet", "Winnipeg Free Press", 8 May 1997, B8.] In the general election, he finished fourth against Reform Party candidate Howard Hilstrom.

In January 1998, Kelner announced his appeal of the Manitoba Lottery Commission's decision to remove video lottery terminals from his hotel. The ban was introduced after the commission discovered that patrons had withdrawn game money from debit cards; one patron had committed suicide after losing his life savings in this manner. Kelner maintained that staff were unaware of how the money had been used, and argued that the machines were necessary to ensure the financial viability of his hotel. ["Bars probed for VLT breaches", "Winnipeg Free Press", 19 January 1998, A1.] The VLTs were returned in March 1998. [Stevens Wild, "Gaming body returns VLTs to rural hotel", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 March 1998, A4.] During the course of the controversy, Kelner required that employees at his hotel take courses in recognizing gambling addiction. [Keith McArthur, "Winnipeg Beach hotelier cradles his VLTs", "Winnipeg Free Press", 31 March 1998, A3. The family of the deceased man were subsequently banned from the hotel. See Mike McIntyre, "Winnipeg Beach bar refuses to serve VLT victim's widow", "Winnipeg Free Press", 12 June 1998, A9.]

Kelner was elected Mayor of Winnipeg Beach in 1998, running on a platform of reducing taxes by amalgamating services with neighbouring communities. [Alexandra Paul, "Hotelier enters race", "Winnipeg Free Press", 13 June 1998, A8; Glen MacKenzie, "Controversial hotel owner new mayor", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 July 1998, A5.] Later in the year, he was appointed to a public advisory group studying shoreline erosion on Lake Winnipeg. ["Public advisory group to address Lake Winnipeg shoreline erosion" [press release] , "M2 Presswire", 12 October 1998.] In 2001, he supported plans to construct a seniors' residence and tourist hotel in the community. [Bill Redekop, "Winnipeg Beach council rekindles seniors' complex debate", "Winnipeg Free Press", 26 November 2001, A7.] He did not seek re-election in 2002. [Mary Agnes Welch, "Beach resorts acclaim reeve, elect a pair of new mayors", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 July 2002, A3.]

Kelner supported Brian Pallister's bid for the Progressive Conservative Party leadership in 1998. [Stevens Wild, "Quebec lawyer ponders bid for PC leadership", "Winnipeg Free Press", 16 June 1998, A6.] He serves on the Manitoba Hotel Association's Board of Directors for the 2007-08 year, and is a Manitoba representative on the executive board of the Hotel Association of Canada. [Karen Wade, "Manitoba Movers", "Winnipeg Free Press", 28 May 2007, B7; [ Executive Board, Hotel Association of Canada] , accessed 3 August 2007.]

Campbell Alexander (Winnipeg Centre)

Alexander was listed in a 1993 newspaper report the sales representative of a local plumbing company. He was forty-one years old and self-employed during the 1997 election, working on retraining programs for recipients of social assistance and unemployment insurance ("Winnipeg Free Press", 17 May 1997). Later in 1997, he was listed as manager of a business partnership for the Taking Charge program ("WFP", 10 November 1997).

Alexander appears to have endorsed Kim Campbell for the Progressive Conservative Party leadership in 1993, insofar as attended a breakfast address delivered by Campbell in Winnipeg before the party's leadership race officially started, and commented that she brought a "fresh new perspective on to the scene" ("WFP", 21 March 1993). In the same year, he wrote an editorial piece defending the funding cutbacks initiated by provincial Education Minister Rosemary Vodrey ("WFP", 10 July 1993).

Alexander received 2,442 votes (9.10%) in the 1997 election, finishing fourth against New Democratic Party candidate Pat Martin. He later served as chief executive officer of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba, although he left this position in March 2003 amid financial difficulties within the party ("WFP", 6 April 2003).

William (Bill) Mackness (Winnipeg South)

Mackness (born April 28, 1938) is a retired business economist and academic administrator. [] He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the Université de Montréal, and a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario. [] He served as senior vice-president and chief economist for the Bank of Nova Scotia ("Globe and Mail", 6 May 1983), was a senior advisor to the federal Department of Finance, and was a Canadian representative to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mackness is a trustee of the right-wing Fraser Institute. In 1991, he delivered an address before the institute entitled, "Big government and the constitutional crisis", encouraging both spending cuts and a devolution of power to the provinces. []

Mackness served as Dean of Management at the University of Manitoba from 1988 to 1995, and in this capacity affiliated the department with the Fraser Institute. Mackness proved a controversial dean due to an abrasive management style, with one rival faculty member claiming he had created an "environment of hatred" at the department ("Winnipeg Free Press", 17 March 1995). He was also accused of intolerance in 1990 after mailing an internal letter on departmental renewal which included the line, "If we don't do something soon, we will all retire together and leave the place to Third World mathematicians" ("Winnipeg Free Press", 1 September 1990). His contract was not renewed in 1995, and the department's affiliation with the Fraser Institute was severed the following year by his replacement. []

He received 6,547 votes (17.26%) in 1997, finishing third against Liberal incumbent Reg Alcock. In 1999, Mackness was the author of another Fraser Institute document calling for spending cuts and tax cuts. []

Mackness was a supporter of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement in 1987 ("Globe and Mail", 5 October 1987), and endorsed the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment ten years later ("Winnipeg Free Press", 5 January 1998).

Glenn Buffie (Winnipeg—Transcona)

Buffie was a sale manager. [ [ History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Winnipeg—Transcona, 1997] , Parliament of Canada, accessed 12 March 2007.] He received 2,968 votes (8.97%), finishing fourth against New Democratic Party incumbent Bill Blaikie. A newspaper report from 2005 lists him as AA vice-president for the Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association. [Chris Cariou, "Special day for future hockey stars", "Winnipeg Free Press", 15 January 2005, D8.]


Ron Meakin (Wanuskewin)

Meakin is a farmer and real estate broker ("Saskatoon Star-Phoenix", 17 May 1997). He had previously campaigned for the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan. In the 1997 election, he called for tax cuts and the cancellation of the Canadian gun registry ("Saskatoon Star-Phoenix", 1 May 1997).


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