Heather Stefanson announces bid for Manitoba PC leadership, promises to end Bill 64

WINNIPEG — Heather Stefanson has announced she plans to run for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba, promising to put an end to the Pallister government’s proposed education reform bill if elected.

Stefanson, who made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, has been the MLA for Tuxedo since 2000, joining Pallister’s cabinet in May 2016.

Following a cabinet shuffle in January, Stefanson was sworn in as the Minister of Health and Seniors Care.

On Wednesday, Stefanson said she submitted her resignation as the health minister so she can run as the leader of the PC party and the next premier of Manitoba.

The province announced Audrey Gordon will be taking on the role of Minister of Health and Seniors Care in addition to her current Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery portfolio.

Stefanson promised if elected she would stop the proposed Bill 64 – the Pallister government’s education reform bill.

“When it comes to education, we are going to listen to parents and educators and indeed to all Manitobans,” she said. “We are going to make sure that we have an education system that prepares our children to succeed in anything that they choose to do.”

Stefanson is the first to officially announce a bid for PC leadership after Brian Pallister announced he would be stepping down as Manitoba’s Premier and leader of the PC Party.

READ MORE: ‘I think it’s time’: Pallister’s decision to step down welcomed by some, including former cabinet minister

Stefanson is among the list of names observers are watching – including ministers Scott Fielding, Cameron Friesen and Rochelle Squires, political studies professor Christopher Adams told CTV News previously.

This is a developing story. More to come.

-with files from CTV’s Josh Crabb 

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