A former union leader and lead investigator for the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba, John Cacayuran was hired in 2016 to become constituency manager for Kildonan-St. Paul MP MaryAnn Mihychuk.
In June 2017, he threw his hat in the political arena for the Liberals in a byelection in Point Douglas. Despite a controversy where the NDP accused the Liberals of paying people to remove campaign signs, Cacayuran finished second to the NDP’s Bernadette Smith by less than 600 votes in a riding thought to be an NDP stronghold. He also holds a degree in criminal justice from the University of Winnipeg.
Selkirk Journal: What has inspired you to run for Member of the Legislative Assembly?
John Cacayuran: I have two young kids and knowing that they’ll be growing up in a province that, right now, healthcare’s a major issue with the meth crisis that is plaguing our communities (is) where I’m definitely concerned as a parent. (I want to make) sure that their future is better than what we have right now, especially when it comes to healthcare (and) early childhood education. We need to invest in those two areas.
SJ: How do you feel you can make a difference for your local community?
JC: For two-and-a-half years, I was working with (Mihychuk) in dealing with the local issues of West St. Paul. I definitely had an opportunity to meet with a lot of the residents and hear their stories. I believe I could be able to continue to have those conversations, provide solutions that would work and have the ability to work with the local officials, mayor and council.
SJ: What aspect of your party’s platform to you admire most in order to make a difference locally and for all residents of Manitoba?
JC: I think West St. Paul residents want to see more investment into the safety and security of the community. The Manitoba Police Service we’re putting forward, where we would invest into a police service that would work along with the RCMP, would give a greater response to community members. The idea would be to hire locally, train, provide them with the equipment and all the other items they would need to do the job correctly.
SJ: What is the number one issue in your mind for the constituency that you are running in?
JC: With the closure of the Seven Oaks Hospital (ER), with limitations on knee and joint replacement surgeries, a lot of my residents have expressed their deep concern of the lack of investment the government has provided to Manitobans.
SJ: What is the number one issue in your mind for the province?
JC: The number one issue for me is the lack of support that early childhood education is receiving. I see firsthand and I hear firsthand the issues that they’re facing: the retention of staff, the low pay for those positions, even though we ask them to take care of their children and teach them. There isn’t enough space for (children).