The question I get asked the most when I am speaking to people is "Why did you run for office?"
For me, the answer is simple. My interest rests in helping people, and this job requires a deep commitment because it calls for being connected to those people.
Others ask me "How can an MLA help?" I have found that discovering "how to help" calls for genuine listening, and relying on established relationships with people to provide assistance and get answers.
There are days where being a politician can be extremely rewarding. For example, when I am able to help someone attain safe housing, or find daycare or proper health care keep me focused on why I decided to run.
I had a close personal friend who was murdered a few years ago in a cowardly act of domestic violence. I think about how my position can help make sure that the government not only funds safe places for people seeking refuge from domestic violence, but also helps people find these places when needed.
I also look at my own family and how my mother’s battle with cancer was handled by the health care system. She always said she felt she had the best care possible. Towards her last days when I was at the hospital, I was able to see this care first-hand and I agree.
The nurses and oncologist were amazing to her and our family during this most difficult time. Medical professionals took the time to explain how things were progressing. At times, they were to hold my mother’s hand and reassure her as she was dying.
This is what we all deserve — dignity, respect and caring. This type of high calibre care from nurses and doctors is something we all expect and it is one of our biggest priorities as Manitobans.
Something that I advocate for and believe in deeply as an MLA is quality public health care. This means keeping a system where your health card, not a credit card, gives you access to quality care.
In our neighbourhood, the Victoria General Hospital has undergone major renovations and now includes the Buhler Cancer Centre, which gives people the dignity they deserve during their hardest times. I am also proud to say that I voted for the budget that gives every cancer patient free drugs, knowing full well from my mother’s experience that these drugs can cost thousands every month.
So while not every day is perfect and there is still work to do, I am glad to be here fighting hard for people and families. They are the reason I ran and the reason I put my heart and soul into this job. As always, feel free to contact my office at 204-261-1794 or by email at Dave.Gaudreau@YourManitoba.ca.