We asked our Riding Mountain Electoral District candidates three questions and gave them up to 400 words to tell voters what they need to know.
- Why did you decide to run for office in this election?
- What do you bring to the job, if elected?
- What are your top three priorities for your riding, if elected.
Wayne Chacun – NDP
Virden has always been my home. I was born and raised here. In my twenties, I owned a restaurant and since then I have been employed as a paramedic. Growing up and living in a small town, you realize the importance of people working together for the greater good. Over the years, I’ve been involved with community organizations including the Virden Arts Council, Association for Community Living and the Virden and Area Foundation.
During the last decade, I became increasingly involved in my union, working to better my profession. As a labour activist, I learned the most important quality was listening to members and to the employer (government). You have to understand where someone is coming from to be able to find a solution to a problem. During this time, I also gained a greater understanding about our provincial government, its departments, Crown Corporations and various agencies. These skills and knowledge help qualify me to be your representative in the legislative building.
Over the past three years, we’ve seen Brian Pallister go back on his word to protect frontline services and instead choose to make cuts that have hurt Manitobans. Health cuts may seem focused mostly on Winnipeg but these cuts are affecting rural patients too.
Across the province, addictions to methamphetamines have been at a crisis point for years, and only during the election period has the Pallister government paid it any attention.
In our education system, budgets have been cut to the point where supports and programs that help the most vulnerable students are being eliminated.
The Pallister government has cut budgets and positions with the highways department to the point where our roads are getting rougher each year and there are not enough workers to do maintenance.
Regardless of where you live in Manitoba, you should be able to vote for someone who shares your values and who will stand up for the things that matter most. I was asked what my priorities would be if elected – they would be what the voters’ priorities are. When knocking on doors, people have raised concerns about the closed bridge on highway 257, the state of healthcare and education, and the need to promote good jobs through rural development.
The people of Westman deserve to have a choice on Election Day – four more years of cuts and chaos or a government that works for all of us.
Jordan Fleury - Liberal
This is my second run as the Liberal Candidate in Riding Mountain (RM). I had indicated after 2016 the likelihood of running again was great. The MLP hasn’t had a returning candidate in RM for several terms so I’m offering familiarity to voters.
I bring a family-oriented, goal-driven enthusiasm. A willingness to learn and grow, and commitment to lifelong learning. This open-minded approach continues to help me gain experience in many walks of life. In 2016 I was employed as a Correctional Officer. Nowadays I’m training for a supervisory position with one of Canada’s largest potato growers while also contract facilitating with another organization in Winnipeg.
There are a number of issues and concerns that remain constant in Riding Mountain however, prioritizing importance on limited matters to the readers’ discretion is too risky for me. I’ve maintained a presence throughout RM and am aware of both the positive and negative opportunities within the constituency. My campaign manager visits Virden weekly through her employment and thankfully we have maintained a healthy family connection to the area as the new electoral boundaries have only recently being introduced.
Mary Lowe – Green
Mary Lowe has lived in the Woodworth/Wallace area for most of her life on a mixed grain, fruit, honey, and livestock farm. She graduated from University of Manitoba with a fine arts degree and has studied sciences at Brandon University. She has worked as an artist most of her life. Her paintings and sculptures capture the love between humans and their animal companions as well as the loving relationship between animals themselves. She has received many honours in this field including being recognized by the Calgary Stampede, Red River Ex and the Manitoba Society of Artists. She has led a diverse job portfolio as a ballet teacher, gymnastics coach, art teacher, lab technician, mural painter, teachers aid and educator/facilitator for a recycling program. She has been a volunteer first responder and is a board member to the Heritage Art Centre in Hamiota. She is also a regular supporter of many charities.
As an artist Mary brings a creativity to problem solving. She is always open to new approaches and listens to others. Her lifestyle is simple. Mary is always trying to cut down on her environmental foot print. She believes in a sustainable lifestyle and she is always helping others who are wanting to balance their lifestyle in harmony with nature.
“I believe strongly in the messages of both Elizabeth May, leader of the National Green Party and James Beddome, leader of the Provincial Green Party, that we need to creatively rethink the way we are living and interacting with each other and our environment,” says Lowe.
“I hope, through my candidacy to support them and to support people and communities in choosing sustainable options and lifestyles.
“I am a very passionate individual who brings a rational, full perspective to any situation. I have many years of experience living in our riding, teaching and working with people in the communities. “I believe in maintaining healthy vibrant communities with strong economies and services, enhancing research on sustainable farming techniques and producing a healthy future for our children.”
Greg Nesbitt - PC
I am humbly asking for the support of the citizens of the Riding Mountain constituency for a second term as part of the Progressive Conservative team.
Our government inherited a mess after 17 years of the NDP, but we went to work immediately to improve the lives of Manitobans.
We added 150 paramedics in rural Manitoba, and will hire 80 more if re-elected. There are more nurses working in Manitoba now than at any time under the NDP, and we plan to hire 200 more.
We promised to reduce the PST to seven percent and we delivered. We delivered on 90 percent of our election promises. If re-elected, we promise the average Manitoban will save $2020 in taxes over the next four years.
My 40 years in the community newspaper business, and 20 years as a shareholder in a hotel and ski resort, prepared me to become an MLA. I pride myself on listening to concerns, taking action where appropriate, and getting back to the people with answers to their issues. I have an outgoing personality, with the ability to use common sense to arrive at solutions to problems or issues.
Having been involved in sports in some facet my entire life, I believe in the team concept. No one person is bigger than the team, and that holds true for a government. I work well with my fellow Progressive Conservative colleagues, and have a cordial relationship with opposition MLAs.
If elected, I will work to ensure rural Manitobans have access to stable primary health care close to home, emergency rooms and specialists when required. Better health care, sooner.
We have tackled a huge infrastructure deficit by working on highways and bridges, but I know there is much more to be done – including the rebuilding of the bridge on PR 257 near Virden. Consistent spending each year insures we get the best value for money. A re-elected PC government will add $50 million to the $350 million we already spend on a yearly basis.
Cellular service is one issue that keeps coming up in conversations with residents and municipal officials. Cell phones are not just convenient – they insure the safety of citizens in life-threatening and emergency situations. Bell-MTS promised $1 billion in upgrades over five years in Manitoba when they merged. If re-elected, I will continue to lobby Bell-MTS to improve service in the Riding Mountain constituency.