Matt Allard has his sights firmly set on becoming the next councillor of St. Boniface.
The lifelong area resident has announced his intention to run to replace current councillor Dan Vandal, who plans to leave the position this year to seek the Liberal nomination to run against MP Shelly Glover at the federal level during the next general election.
The 32-year-old Collège Louis Riel alumnus feels he is ready to make a run for a seat at city — in part due to the growing diversity of his involvement in the community.
Allard currently splits his time between owning a small business, Au Courant Consultants, being the CEO of the Chambre de commerce francophone de Saint-Boniface in St. Boniface and his role as president of the Old St. Boniface Residents’ Association.
"I’ve had a number of recent experiences in these roles that have allowed me to help promote local businesses and speak on behalf of the residents," Allard said, noting he has a master’s degree in public administration.
"I live in St. Boniface, I work in St. Boniface, my family is in St. Boniface and I love St. Boniface, I guess you could say I want be Mr. St. Boniface," he added, with a laugh.
"Given the mix of my abilities, a role at city hall would be another way I could best serve my community."
But first things first for Allard, who has some busy months ahead.
Having announced his intention to run to media at his home, he won’t legally be able to spend money on his campaign trail until July.
Allard stressed that he is currently in the process of developing his platform and there is plenty of time for the community to work with him to develop a list of local priorities for the ward.
"Nothing is set in stone. I’m inviting people to join the conversation about the future of St. Boniface," he said, noting his volunteer involvement with Habitat for Humanity and the French-Canadian pavilion at Folklorama.
Allard has already heard various safety concerns from residents in cases of homes that are in close proximity to industry and transportation, citing the explosions at Speedway International and safety near rail tracks in residential areas as two examples.
"And I’ve been hearing from people who are concerned that city hall is a mess at the moment, in terms of transparency and accountability," he added.
"I believe I’m very accessible and approachable and I think I will genuinely listen to what people have to say and use it as guidance to make their decisions."
For more information, contact Allard at mattallard.weebly.com or call 204-396-INFO (4636).
At press time, Allard was not aware of any other candidates in the race. If you are planning on running, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org