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Heather Stefanson stepping down as PC leader

Following the defeat of her party, Heather Stefanson has announced she will be stepping down as the leader of the Progressive Conservatives.

Following the announcement of the NDP forming government, Stefanson spoke with party supporters at the PC headquarters and said she will be stepping down as leader.

“It has been the honour of my life serving the people of Manitoba,” she said.

Stefanson took over the reins of the PC leadership in 2022 after former Premier Brian Pallister stepped down. She narrowly beat opponent Shelly Glover in the leadership race.

“I thank all Manitobans from the bottom of my heart for giving me the privilege to serve as the first woman premier in this beautiful province of ours," Stefanson said Tuesday night.

During his victory speech, NDP premier-elect Wab Kinew acknowledged Stefanson and the work she has done as premier.

“I want to thank you for your service to our province and country,” Kinew said. “You were the first woman premier of Manitoba and I look forward to working with you on an orderly transition as we stand up as Manitoba’s next government.

During her speech Tuesday, Stefanson also thanked and congratulated all the candidates who will be representing the Progressive Conservatives in the Manitoba Legislature.

“I remember the excitement I felt when I first was elected that night and I hope you feel the same way. You have captured the optimism and the confidence of your community,” said Stefanson.

Stefanson also thanked her family for supporting her through this and previous elections.

“We know that there have been some great times in the past 23 years and there’s been some challenging times no doubt. But every step of the way you have been with me and I could not have done it without you.”

Stefanson first came to office in 2000 and has represented the constituency of Tuxedo ever since.

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