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Campaign a positive experience for all candidates

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As campaign signs are packed away, candidates in the Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa riding reflected on the results of the recent federal election.
And while all candidates thanked voters, volunteers, family and riding associations for the support, each took something away from the process.
Newly-elected MP Dan Mazier was pleased to see voter turnout was up.
“With the harvest situation, in all parts of the riding the growing season has been very challenging for everybody. But everybody did what they had to do and that was my other goal, to get the vote out,” the Conservative Party of Canada candidate said.
“And people were voting with purpose, or voting because it’s their right and their duty. And I very much appreciate that. When people come out and vote in good large numbers like that, that’s a very good signal that they do still believe in our democracy, which I am very pleased to see.”
New Democratic Party candidate Laverne Lewycky agreed with Mazier, taking the, “attitude of gratitude.”
“I’m grateful to God that we live in a country where people can express their democratic choices and they can work together in terms of being able to participate in the process,” Lewycky said.
“We did not get Olympic gold for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa, but we did achieve the silver medal. So in the Olympics, that’s good and it’s an improvement from the previous bronze medal.”
Liberal Party of Canada candidate Cathy Scofield-Singh considered it an honour to participate in the political process.
“I was so honoured to be asked to run as the Liberal candidate for the Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa riding. I had the opportunity to meet some fantastic people out there, people who really care about our riding and really want to see it keep growing and keep moving forward,” Scofield-Singh said.
Green Party of Canada candidate Kate Storey pointed out two-thirds of Canadians voted for parties putting forward various platforms for immediate climate action.
“So I really hope that our new MP is able to promote sustainability like climate action. It’ll be an economic boost to this riding,” she said.
“People vote green whenever there’s a big environmental problem, so we have an MP in Nanaimo, one in Sydney and now one in Fredericton, New Brunswick. But here in Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa, we’re really fortunate, we don’t have those kinds of immediate pollution problems and so it’s not surprising that a Green doesn’t get elected here. But this election showed a clear rising concern over the climate crisis.”
Christian Heritage Party of Canada candidate Jenni Johnson found the campaign to be an encouraging exercise in free speech.
“Lots of great conversations came out of it. Lots of people who appreciated hearing about things that usually we don’t hear from the candidate stage. My favourite comment would be when someone would say something along the lines of, ‘thanks for giving me someone to vote for,’ because that’s really why I did it,” she said.
“I said it a lot over the last few weeks that I have grown dissatisfied with the way that the major, more well-known parties of Canada have tried to set aside issues of life, such as abortion and assisted suicide, as things that are no longer up for debate or no longer up for discussion. And I think a lot of Canadians agree with me that we still want to talk about those things and talk about ways that we can encourage and protect and promote life in this country and not the opposite.”
As each candidate congratulated Mazier on his definitive win, they shared thoughts on the future.
Lewycky referred to the minority government as a silver lining for the country.
“I think now with the minority government, the government in power will have to work with the NDP and our priorities like health care, I think, now can be realized. Medicare and dental care, especially for seniors, contract and part-time workers are things that we can be pushing for,” he added.
Scofield-Singh urged Mazier to focus on his constituents.
“I’m sure he will do his best to represent our riding well and I hope that he will always represent the people and not just what his leader wants. We need to keep the good of our riding at our heart,” she said.
Storey noted the election may lead to electoral reform.
“I am heartened by the renewed calls for electoral reform and now it’s coming from Conservative voters, too. The idea that the Liberals can govern with support from less than one-third of Canadians is just not acceptable,” Storey said.
“So as Greens have been saying all along, we really need a proportional voting system that recognizes the regional differences in Canada and creates a parliament of representatives dedicated to working together for the benefit of all Canadians.”
While Johnson admitted she was pleased to see Mazier elected, she gained greater respect for the other candidates.
“I really enjoyed my perspective where I got to sit this time around and that’s meeting the other candidates and realizing, wow, all these people just want to serve. They have good intentions. These are good people who want to give and serve and help this constituency,” Johnson said.
Mazier feels constituents sent a strong signal in support of the Conservative party.
“I think the numbers kind of speak for themselves. Having said that, it’s very humbling. I’m not taking anything for granted and I do encourage everybody I met, if you have a question of me, or what’s going on, please try to contact me in some way,” he said.
“That’s the kind of MP I figure I want to be. (To be) your voice and I want to be an effective voice, so please don’t be scared to reach out to me any time.”
People’s Party of Canada candidate Frank Godon was not available for comment.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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