Jason Smith is running for MLA for the first time. A Red River College graduate who grew up in Garden City, he works as an IT professional specializing in infrastructure.
According to Smith’s candidate page on the Green Party of Manitoba website, he believes that climate change is “the most pressing political issue of our time,” and supports evidence-based policy and incentive-based approaches to government, such as investing in green infrastructure and supporting businesses who use environmentally-friendly methods.
Selkirk Journal: What has inspired you to run for Member of the Legislative Assembly?
Jason Smith: I see great opportunities for change and improvement in our province and I want to give the people in McPhillips riding the chance to show their support for that change.
SJ: How do you feel you can make a difference for your local community?
JS: I believe in a strong future for our community and I hope that I can be a voice in favour of that future.
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?
JS: I admire the Green Party’s commitment to put the environment first. In a system of short election cycles and shorter term thinking, it takes fortitude to focus on issues that may not deliver immediate benefits. We need to work today to ensure that people can continue to enjoy our rivers, lakes and beaches and that Manitoba agriculture can continue to thrive.
SJ: What is the number one issue in your mind for the constituency that you are running in?
JS: I think the loss of the emergency room at Seven Oaks Hospital is a blow to the community. I think it is very important for McPhillips that we change course on health care and work to improve access to services and increase investment in a healthy community.
SJ: What is the number one issue in your mind for the province?
JS: Addressing poverty and all that comes along with it is at the forefront of my mind. The costs of poverty in terms of individuals, and society are huge and I we need to work to address the root causes rather than treating the symptoms. Programs like a basic income and housing first policies could begin to end poverty in our province and at the same time help to solve major problems in other parts of our system, such as health care, education and public safety.