The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) handed out a brand new car to one lucky Manitoban this week, bringing to a conclusion a new campaign and contest that they believe will change how people are encouraged to get out and vote in this province.
During an event in Winnipeg on Friday, MMF President David Chartrand picked the names of the winners for the Get Out and Vote contest, and Red River Métis Nation citizen Jason Boitson got the news that he is now the owner of brand new Chevy Spark.
The contest invited any Red River Métis Nation citizen who voted in the Sept. 22 federal election to take a picture outside of a polling station and send it to MMF through social media, text or email for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of the brand new car.
Other prize winners were also announced on Friday, with five PlayStation 5 consoles, and five 50” screen TVs also being won.
In a Friday press release. Chartrand admitted there were some who originally questioned the legitimacy of the contest, but he said Elections Canada has since let them know they broke no rules.
He added MMF believes the contest was greatly successful in bringing Métis people in this province out to vote, and he called it “precedent setting.”
“When we first announced the incentive, I know some wondered about the validity of such a campaign,” Chartrand said. “After all, nothing like this had ever been done in Canada before. However, we knew we needed to do more to encourage Indigenous citizens to get out and vote, and have their voices heard.”
In a ruling Elections Canada released after the federal election, they stated that MMF’s contest “did not act with a corrupt intention by creating and publicizing its draw for prizes,” and that no offence had been committed under their Act.”
— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun