Despite having been the MLA for the now-defunct Morris riding since 2014, Shannon Martin is no stranger to the area covered by the McPhillips electoral district.
In the 1999 provincial election, he ran for the PCs in Kildonan, losing to NDP cabinet minister Dave Chomiak. During his time as MLA, Martin served as Deputy Whip and co-chair of the Manitoba Red Tape Reduction Task Force.
He also previously served as the executive director of E-Quality Employment Services, which helps people with disabilities find employment, and director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
Selkirk Journal: What has inspired you to run for Member of the Legislative Assembly?
Shannon Martin: As someone who has served Manitobans for the last five years, I thought I still had a great deal to offer. I took up the opportunity to go and fly the colours in McPhillips. I’m looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to representing them, knock on wood, on Sept. 10.
SJ: How do you feel you can make a difference for your local community?
SM: People are looking for good representation and that’s what they will get from an MLA such as myself. I know how the system works. I have helped hundreds and hundreds of Manitobans deal with the government and make sure their issues were brought forward and I will continue to do that for the voters of McPhillips.
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?
SM: I was having lunch with some of the elected representatives of West St. Paul and one of the priorities they brought up was school. I’m quite thrilled as part of our larger commitment to have a total of 20 schools built over the next decade, four of those will be within McPhillips, including one in West St. Paul.
SJ: What is the number one issue in your mind for the constituency that you are running in and for the province?
SM: The number-one issue that I get when I engage with Manitobans and with voters is that they don’t want to go back. They want to continue moving this province forward. Economically, socially, they see the mess that we inherited three-and-a-half years ago and they’re with us in making those adjustments and making sure we have a good financial base to fund healthcare and education, as well as making sure Manitobans continue to have money to run their own households. Trust is huge in this election.