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Hugh McFadyen

Hugh McFadyen
Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
In office
Preceded by Stuart Murray
Succeeded by Brian Pallister
Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba
In office
Preceded by Stuart Murray
Succeeded by Brian Pallister
MLA for Fort Whyte
In office
Preceded by John Loewen
Succeeded by Brian Pallister
Personal details
Born (1967-05-31) 31 May 1967
Selkirk, Manitoba
Political party Progressive Conservative

Hugh Daniel McFadyen (born 31 May 1967) is a lawyer and politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was the former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba, and Leader of the Opposition in the Manitoba legislature. Following his party's loss in the 2011 election he announced that he would resign as leader as soon as a new leader is appointed.[1][2] McFadyen officially resigned on July 30, 2012.[3]


  • Early life and career 1
  • Politician 2
    • Member of the Legislative Assembly 2.1
    • Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party 2.2
    • 2007 election 2.3
  • Post-election 3
  • Electoral record 4
  • Footnotes 5
  • External links 6

Early life and career

McFadyen was born in Selkirk, Manitoba. His aunt Linda McIntosh was a cabinet minister in the provincial government of Gary Filmon, and his great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were also members of the Manitoba legislature.[4] He has said that former Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin is his political hero.[5]

Hugh McFadyen
Medal record
World Junior Championships
1987 Victoria

McFadyen was a successful curler in his youth, and skipped his team to a Canadian Junior Championship in 1986.[6] This win qualified them for the 1987 World Junior Curling Championships where they won a silver medal, losing to Scotland's Douglas Dryburgh.[7] McFadyen's third, Jon Mead, would go on to play for Jeff Stoughton, while his second, Norman Gould, went on to curling success in Japan followed by coaching the 1996 Jeff Stoughton World Championship Curling Team.

McFadyen holds Bachelor of Arts (1990) and Bachelor of Laws (1993) degrees from the University of Manitoba.[8] He was a researcher for the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba in the mid-1990s, and was appointed principal secretary to Premier Gary Filmon following Taras Sokolyk's resignation in September 1998 following the Aboriginal vote splitting scandal.[9] McFadyen represented Filmon as an observer to the federal United Alternative convention, and was deputy campaign manager for the Progressive Conservatives in the 1999 provincial election.[10]

The Progressive Conservatives lost the 1999 election, and McFadyen's position in the Office of the Premier ended with the Filmon government's resignation shortly thereafter. He subsequently practiced law for two years in London, UK with Clifford Chance LLP, did post-graduate work at University College London, and worked for a consulting firm in Toronto. He returned to Manitoba in 2003, and joined the firm Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson.[11] In early 2004, he became the Manitoba chair of Belinda Stronach's bid to lead the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada.[12]

McFadyen managed Sam Katz's successful campaign to become Mayor of Winnipeg in mid-2004, in a municipal by-election that followed the resignation of Glen Murray.[13] Katz later appointed McFadyen as his senior political advisor.[14]


Member of the Legislative Assembly

McFadyen resigned as advisor to the mayor in May 2005, in order to seek the federal Conservative Party nomination for Winnipeg South.[15] He defeated rival candidate Rod Bruinooge by only twelve votes at the nomination meeting.[16] When the federal election was deferred, McFadyen was hired by provincial Progressive Conservative leader Stuart Murray as a consultant on urban issues.[17] The Progressive Conservatives were the Official Opposition party in this period, having lost a second election to the New Democratic Party under Gary Doer in 2003.

Later in 2005, McFadyen resigned his federal nomination to seek the Progressive Conservative nomination for a provincial by-election in Fort Whyte. He was supported by Gary Filmon, and again defeated Bruinooge for the nomination.[18] Fort Whyte is a safe Progressive Conservative seat, and McFadyen was elected without difficulty in December.

Stuart Murray announced his resignation as Progressive Conservative leader in November 2005, after receiving a lukewarm endorsement at the party's annual convention. McFadyen was soon mentioned as a possible successor, even before his election to the legislature.[19] In February 2006, he became the first candidate to officially declare for the party leadership. His campaign was supported by fourteen MLAs, including Jack Reimer, Kelvin Goertzen and Cliff Cullen, as well as former cabinet ministers Rosemary Vodrey, David Newman, Jim Downey and Shirley Render.[20] He defeated rival candidates Ron Schuler and Ken Waddell on 29 April 2006.

Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party

McFadyen's first months as party leader were successful. The Progressive Conservatives surpassed the NDP in public opinion polls in June 2006, for the first time since 1999.[21] McFadyen strongly criticized the Doer government over its alleged failure to protect investors from the failure of the Crocus Investment Fund, and launched a party task force into the matter headed by former cabinet minister Don Orchard.[22] He also advocated fixed provincial election dates, and accused Doer of failing to keep an earlier pledge to end "hallway medicine" in the province.[23]

In late 2006, McFadyen reversed his party's former position and promised to continue Manitoba's tuition freeze if elected as Premier.[24] He also promised compensation for investors in the Crocus fund and financial incentives for Manitobans buying energy-efficient cars, raised the prospect of sharing the provincial sales tax with cities, and argued that parents who allow their children to wander the streets at night should be held responsible if their children commit crimes.[25]

During a speech in September 2006, McFadyen described the former New Democratic Party government of Howard Pawley as having been influenced by communism. This statement was widely criticized, and Pawley described it as "fallacious and ridiculous". McFadyen initially refused to withdraw the accusation, and said that there had been card-carrying members of the Communist Party in Pawley's government.[26] (This was undoubtedly a reference to Roland Penner, a former member of the Labour Progressive Party of Canada who served in Pawley's cabinet during the 1980s. Penner indicated that he had left the LPP in 1960, several years before he ran as an NDP candidate.)[27]

In March 2007, McFadyen introduced a ten-point plan designed to make Manitoba Hydro a major player in the clean energy sector. The proposal was dismissed by the NDP as a thinly-veiled plan to privatize the utility, a charge that McFadyen denied.[28]

2007 election

The Doer government called a Justice Minister Dave Chomiak described the latter promise as a "publicity stunt" that would ultimately cost the province money, while the Winnipeg Free Press described it as "bizarre".[32] McFadyen also promised to bring the Jets hockey team back to Winnipeg, in order to convince younger Manitobans to remain in the province. This was generally regarded as unrealistic in newspaper coverage.[33][34]

Support for the Progressive Conservatives fell significantly in the last days of the campaign, particularly among female voters.[35] Doer's New Democrats won a third consecutive majority government, while McFadyen's Progressive Conservatives retained Official Opposition status with nineteen seats, down one from the previous election. McFadyen was personally returned for Fort Whyte without difficulty.


After the election, rumours surfaced that McFadyen would be pressured to stand down as party leader. He rejected the suggestion, and observed that the Progressive Conservatives would need to make significant changes to regain their former status as Manitoba's governing party.[36] In early 2008, he said that his party should emulate the changes brought to the UK Conservative Party by newly elected leader David Cameron.[37]

In September 2007, McFadyen took part in an all-party delegation to Ottawa, calling on the federal government to increase penalties for car thieves, young offenders and criminal gangs.[38] McFadyen recommended changes to the Child and Family Services Act in late 2007, arguing that child safety should be the sole consideration when determining if a child should be assigned to the care of social workers. He argued that the existing act was confusing, and allowed for too many other considerations.[39]

In late 2007, McFadyen criticized the Doer government for its decision to construct a hydroelectric transmission line on the west rather than the east side of Lake Winnipeg. The east side route would be less expensive, but was rejected on the grounds that it was opposed by local indigenous groups and would threaten pristine boreal forest lands. McFadyen described the west side line as the greatest policy blunder in Manitoba history, and said that some indigenous leaders have been given effective veto power over development. Ron Evans, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and a former Progressive Conservative candidate, responded that McFadyen's comments threaten to damage years of work between his party and the indigenous community.[40]

McFadyen led the Progressive Conservatives in the 2011 general election, in which the party failed to make any gains, ending up with nineteen seats for the second election in a row. He announced his resignation as party leader in his concession speech.[1] McFayden now works at a public relations firm in Calgary, Alberta

Electoral record

Manitoba general election, 2007: Fort Whyte
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Hugh McFadyen 5,981 51.95 −0.76 $20,363.37
New Democratic Sunny Dhaliwal 3,895 33.83 +5.70 $5,331.36
Liberal Angelina Olivier-Job 1,637 14.22 −4.94 $2,162.37
Total valid votes 11,513 100.00
Rejected and declined votes 38
Turnout 11,551 59.16 +2.55
Electors on the lists 19,526
Manitoba provincial by-election, December 16, 2005: Fort Whyte
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Hugh McFadyen 3,542 52.26 −0.45 $27,219.00
New Democratic Christina McDonald 1,650 24.34 −3.79 $18,333.89
Liberal Jean Paterson 1,466 21.63 +2.47 $6,134.47
Green Shelagh Pizey-Allen 120 1.77 $233.71
Total valid votes 6,778 100.00
Rejected ballots 6
Turnout 6,784 38.07 −18.54
Registered voters 17,820

All electoral information is taken from Elections Manitoba. Provincial expenditures refer to candidate expenses.


  1. ^ a b McFadyen stepping down as PC leader, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 4 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  2. ^ McFadyen stepping down - Winnipeg Free Press
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mia Rabson, "Newest MLA continues tradition", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 January 2006, B2.
  5. ^ Alison Mayes, "He's a young old-timer", Winnipeg Free Press, 20 May 2007, B2.
  6. ^ "Roundup: Curling", Globe and Mail, 24 February 1986, C7.
  7. ^ See "Canada, Scotland clinch playoff spots", Toronto Star, 20 March 1987, F6.
  8. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "Campaign boss to join Katz team?", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 2004, A1; "Your provincial party leaders", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 2007, A4. His B.A. degree was in politics and economics.
  9. ^ "Introduction to Safeway Select field", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 February 1996, p. 6; "Lawyer named Filmon aide", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 September 1998, A10.
  10. ^ Paul Samyn, "Ontario sends most delegates to unite the right", Winnipeg Free Press, 19 February 1999, A3; Linda Rosborough, "A tale of two ridings", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 September 1999, B5.
  11. ^ Mia Rabson, "McFadyen makes it official", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 February 2006, A11; Hugh McFadyen biography, Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson biography, originally retrieved 25 June 2004. Retrieved 11 August 2007.
  12. ^ "Belinda Stronach names campaign chairs for each province" [press release], Canada NewsWire, 13 February 2004, 12:38. Stronach finished second against Stephen Harper.
  13. ^ Jason Bell, "It takes cash to win battle for mayor's job", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 June 2004, B3.
  14. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "Katz pitching newer deal", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 November 2004, B1; "Mayor names new policy adviser", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 November 2005, B3. McFadyen's salary was $160,000; his successor was paid a reduced salary of $97,500.
  15. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "Top Katz adviser quits job to seek Tory nomination", Winnipeg Free Press, 28 April 2005, A6.
  16. ^ Daniel Lett, "Ex-adviser to mayor running for Tories", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 2005, B4.
  17. ^ "Murray hires former press secretary for Harper", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 July 2005, A9.
  18. ^ Bill Redekop, "Tory stronghold claimed by mayor's former aide", Winnipeg Free Press, 19 October 2005, B3.
  19. ^ "Possible candidates to lead the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2005, A8; Mia Rabson, "Tories look for a leader", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2005, A1; Mia Rabson, "Murray calls it quits", Winnipeg Free Press, 15 November 2006, A3.
  20. ^ Mia Rabson, "McFadyen makes it official", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 February 2006, A11; Mia Rabson, "Tory 1, Tory 2 or Tory 3?", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 April 2006, A1; Mia Rabson, "Tories crown McFadyen chief", Winnipeg Free Press, 30 April 2006, A1.
  21. ^ Daniel Lett, "Support for Tories surging", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 July 2006, A1. Two further polls in late 2006 also showed the Progressive Conservatives with a narrow lead, while another in March 2007 showed the parties tied for popular support. See Mia Rabson, "Manitoba NDP, Tories in dead heat for voters", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 October 2006, A1; Mia Rabson, "Poll suggests victory for NDP", 16 December 2006, A1; Kevin Rollason, "Poll shows race deadlocked...and that means NDP will win", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 March 2007, A6. The article title refers to the fact that PC support was concentrated in rural areas, while the NDP led in Winnipeg.
  22. ^ Martin Cash, "Crocus files made available to Conservative task force", Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 2006.
  23. ^ Paul Samyn, "Parliamentary overhaul", Winnipeg Free Press, 31 May 2006, A1; Mia Rabson, "Hallway medicine haunts Doer", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 August 2006, A4.
  24. ^ Mia Rabson, "McFadyen's move to keep tuition freeze a shocker", Winnipeg Free Press, 15 September 2006, A10.
  25. ^ Martin Cash, "Crocus rally demands answers", Winnipeg Free Press, 2 November 2006, B3; Mia Rabson, "Tory leader leans toward green", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 2006, A3; Mia Rabson, "McFadyen idea an echo of ex-mayor's New Deal", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 November 2006, A8; Mia Rabson, "McFadyen wants parents to pay", Winnipeg Free Press, 27 October 2006, A1. In early 2007, he called for increased standards tests in public schools. The latter message was opposed by the Manitoba Teachers' Society. See Nick Martin, "Teachers' union denounces standard testing", Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 2007, web extra.
  26. ^ McFadyen's original statement was "Manitoba was taken over and ruled by an ideologically driven NDP government that found its inspiration in socialist and communist ideas that were then in vogue in eastern Europe". See Steve Pona, "Pawley: Tory leader has gone overboard", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 September 2006, A13.
  27. ^ Penner was reported to have burst out laughing when told that McFadyen had accused the Pawley government of being inspired by socialist and communist ideas. See Mia Rabson, "Communist ties in past no secret, Penner says", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 September 2006, A8. McFadyen's remarks were also criticized by Sidney Green, a former cabinet minister in the NDP government of Edward Schreyer and subsequently an opponent of Pawley's ministry. See Sidney Green, "Pawley's NDP was neither radical nor socialist", Winnipeg Free Press, 19 September 2006, A13. Darrell Rankin, leader of the Communist Party of Canada - Manitoba, confirmed that there were no card-carrying members of the Communist Party in Pawley's government. See Darrell Rankin, "Howard Pawley correct", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 September 2006, A18.
  28. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "Manitoba Clean Energy Company?", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 March 2007, A9.
  29. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "McFadyen takes cue from PM", Winnipeg Free Press, 21 April 2007, A5. On health issues, he promised to have hospitals, non-profits and private clinics compete for government health service contracts, and to shift health funding from administration to front-line work. See Mia Rabson, "McFadyen promises health care competition", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 2007, A6; "Tories prescribe fewer managers, more MDs, nurses", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 April 2007, A4; "McFadyen's bag mixed" [editorial], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 April 2007, A13.
  30. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "Less tax for your Tims! Tory Leader McFadyen promises to reduce PST to 6 per cent", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 April 2007, A1; Daniel Lett, "Ten days in -- no bombshells, no real stumbles", Winnipeg Free Press, 30 April 2007, A5.
  31. ^ Daniel Lett, "McFadyen must prove he can cut taxes and protect services", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 May 2007, A5; Mia Rabson, "Tories promise another $172M worth of tax cuts", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 2007, A1.
  32. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "No legal aid for gangsters: Tories", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 May 2007, A5; "Tory pledge is bizarre" [editorial], Winnipeg Free Press, 8 May 2007, A10. McFadyen's other initiatives on "law and order" issues were criticized by criminal lawyers, social-welfare advocates, and academics. See Kevin Rollason, "Critics slam McFadyen's plan for justice reform", Winnipeg Free Press, 2 May 2007, A4.
  33. ^ "Manitoba Tories promise to work to bring pro hockey back to Winnipeg", Canadian Press, 7 May 2007, 12:00; Mia Rabson, "Tories promise return of Jets", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 May 2007, A4; "Manitoba dreaming" [editorial], Winnipeg Free Press, 9 May 2007, A14; Mia Rabson, "Show us the jobs, young say", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 2007, A6; Lindor Reynolds, "City yawns as McFadyen promises return of Jets", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 2007, A5; William Neville, "The silly season has arrived early this year", Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 2007, A15; Mary Agnes Welch, "Tory's bold proposal backfires, premier promises small things, and Liberals get some traction", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 May 2007, A17; Mary Agnes Welch, "Promise to get Jets grounded McFadyen", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 May 2007, A9.
  34. ^ McFadyen also promised a task force to study issues of academic funding, and declined to sign a pledge for a total tuition freeze. See Mia Rabson, "Tory university plank shouted down", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 2007, A11. He promised to implement set election dates, and restrict government and third-party political advertising. See Mia Rabson, "PCs want set election dates", Winnipeg Free Press, 20 May 2007, A10.
  35. ^ Gabrielle Giroday, "Survey says: NDP three-peat", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 2007, A10; Gabrielle Giroday, "Voters' view of PCs plunges", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 May 2007, A1; Daniel Lett, "How the NDP talked its way to a third term", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 June 2007, 17 June 2007, B5.
  36. ^ Frances Russell, "Will Conservatives now show McFadyen the door?", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 May 2007, A15; Mary Agnes Welch, "Tories need a remake to win city: McFadyen", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 May 2007, A6.
  37. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "McFadyen turns to Britain for Tory inspiration", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 January 2008, A1.
  38. ^ Daniel Lett, "Method to the road-trip madness", Winnipeg Free Press, 21 September 2007, A8.
  39. ^ Mia Rabson, "Tories seek to amend Child and Family Services Act", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 December 2007.
  40. ^ Mia Rabson, "'Looney left' dictating Hydro choice: McFadyen", Winnipeg Free Press, 28 September 2007, A9; Hugh McFadyen, "Doer's west-side sellout NDP bows to pressure on power-line route", Winnipeg Free Press, 2 October 2007, A11; Mary Agnes Welch, "Tory slams landmark deal with reserves", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 October 2007, A6; Mia Rabson, "East side of lake politically potent", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 October 2007, A1; Joe Paraskevas, "McFadyen willtour province to stop power line", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 December 2007, A4.

External links

  • Hugh McFadyen
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