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Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the provincial government fully intends to stick to the scheduled date of Oct. 3 of next year.David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press

Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen says the Progressive Conservative government is not planning to call an early election.

Goertzen, who is also the Tory house leader, says the government fully intends to stick to the scheduled date of Oct. 3 of next year.

Goertzen says there are some exceptional circumstances such as an emergency that could prompt an early vote, but the Tories plan to stick to the set date.

Speculation about an early election call ramped up last week when Premier Heather Stefanson said no decision had been made and the vote will be held on or before Oct. 3.

There have been few signs of election preparation in the Tory camp – candidate nominations only recently got underway and there has been no partisan advertising blitz.

Manitoba has scheduled election dates under provincial law, but the law allows an earlier vote.

“There are some exceptional circumstances that are laid into the legislation, but it is the government’s intention to go on the set election date,” Goertzen said Wednesday.

“Barring any of those rare, unforeseen and unusual circumstances, it’s our intention to have the election on the set election date.”

In 2019, then-premier Brian Pallister called an election a year ahead of schedule – without citing any emergency – and won a second consecutive mandate. The Tories were riding high in opinion polls at the time, but recent polls suggest they are trailing the Opposition New Democrats.

The NDP pushed the issue in the legislature chamber Wednesday by introducing a motion calling on the government to commit to the Oct. 3 date. Government legislature members voted in favour of it. The debate was largely symbolic, as motions in the chamber are not binding on government policy.

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