Mihychuk seeing second term for Liberals

MaryAnn Mihychuk is the Liberal Party of Canada candidate in the federal riding of Kildonan-St. Paul. (Photo submitted for Selkirk Journal/Interlake Publishing/Postmedia Network)

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A geoscientist by trade, MaryAnn Mihychuk has been involved in various levels of government over the past 30 years. She was first elected as a trustee in the Winnipeg School Division before being elected as the MLA for St. James in 1995 for the New Democrats. From 1999 to 2004, she served as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Mines before resigning in 2004 for an unsuccessful run for mayor of Winnipeg. In 2015, Mihychuk was elected as MP for Kildonan-St. Paul running for the Liberals, where she narrowly defeated Conservative candidate Jim Bell. In her first 14 months as MP, Mihychuk was a part of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet as Minister of Employment, Workforce and Labour and at the time of the election was the Chairwoman of the Standing Committee of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
Born in Vita and the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Mihychuk lives in North Kildonan and has three children.
The Selkirk Journal sent a series of questions to all candidates in Kildonan-St. Paul.
Selkirk Journal: What has inspired you to run in the 2019 Federal Election for Member of Parliament?
MaryAnn Mihychuk: The job isn’t done. In the past four years we’ve reduced child poverty, massively increased employment and improved Canada’s economic outlook. It’s only now that we’ve started to undo the damage caused by the Harper years, and we can’t let another government slash our services and roll back this progress.
SJ: How do you feel you can make a difference for your local community?
MM: Fighting for fairness in the north, and having the experience to find creative solutions to political roadblocks. The Liberals have a real plan to help seniors who badly need it: Funding more affordable housing (lacking in East St Paul); and providing communities more infrastructure funding than ever before (to build the Peguis Trail extension, and needed upgrades to the North End Sewage Treatment Plant). I’ll get these projects done just like I was able to fund Centennial Square and rail safety upgrades in East St. Paul, and provide much-needed water & waste infrastructure in West St. Paul.
SJ: What aspect of your party’s platform do you admire most in order to make a difference locally and for all residents of Canada?
MM: An emphasis on strong economic policy balanced with social supports. Giving people the hand-up they need to better their circumstances and give back to the country, while supporting job growth, industry and trade. Community development and economic development go hand-in-hand, and this kind of balance helps build a stronger Canada for our children.
SJ: How do you feel you can contribute most to your political party if elected?
MM: As a scientist, I believe in using data and evidence to back up policy. A reasonable government needs to make its decisions based on reality, and not just emotion or partisan politics. I will continue to be a strong voice standing up for Western Canada’s interests, protecting our unique culture and heritage.
SJ: What is the number one issue in your mind for the constituency that you are running in?
MM: A need for more infrastructure investments: specifically the Chief Peguis extension and fixing the North End Treatment Plant. The north part of Winnipeg and the St. Pauls have historically not seen the investment from municipal/provincial governments that the south has. People feel it in the condition of our roads, and the lack of services. The feds play a major role in funding these projects and pushing partners at other levels to spend in the right places; and we need an experienced voice who can represent our interests.
SJ: What is the number one issue in your mind for the Canada?
MM: Expanding medicare to include prescription medications (national pharmacare). Seniors and families across Canada are struggling with the high cost of life-saving medications.
SJ: What are you doing personally and what is your party doing in order to get a higher voter turnout and to engage voters in this federal election?
MM: I’ve been going door-to-door meeting constituents and hearing their concerns every day since Parliament adjourned. My campaign is focusing on innovation and new ways of engaging voters. I’ve been hosting pop-up BBQs in my 1955 GMC pickup, holding coffee parties with seniors, advertising our platform on lawn signs, and of course, focusing on social media and the radio. My amazing team of volunteers has also hand-delivered over 90,000 letters to Kildonan-St Paul residents this year.