With technology changing the way we interact with each other, the concept of going door to door seems to have lost some of its significance.
However, I believe for an elected official to properly represent their constituents, it is an essential part of the job. As the snow is finally melting, you’ll often see me out canvassing in our neighbourhood.
In my lifetime, it would not be exaggeration to say that I have knocked on tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of doors. I try to follow the example of long-serving NDP MP, the late David Orlikow. When I door-knocked with him, he seemed to know everyone personally, and I try my best to do the same.
While door knocking, I’m always impressed with the beauty of Kildonan’s homes and people. The brief or sometimes longer discussions I have with our neighbours provide me with insight, joy and sometimes even sadness. It was at the door in Garden City when I first met with a concentration camp survivor and saw those terrible numbers tattooed on his wrist. It was at the door when I met the family who employed my grandfather here in Winnipeg when he first came to Canada in 1928.
I have only been threatened once while at the door. A young man came to the door and wanted nothing to do with me. His mother, hearing shouting, asked who was there. When he explained I was a member of the NDP, she came over to give me a hug. It wasn’t my reputation that saved me, but the legacy of Stanley Knowles. She explained that she adored the former NDP MP for Winnipeg North and supported anybody who was with him.
I have never had to do anything as complicated as, say, deliver a baby, but I have taken people to the doctor, helped with errands and assisted sorting out family disputes. The best part of all is that people make me feel welcome. I will always continue to meet you at the door, and I hope this never changes. It’s the best way that I know, to understand what’s happening in our area. Oh yes, and the best advice for future door-knockers — it’s always better to listen.
If you ever need assistance or would just like to talk about our community, feel free to contact my office at 204-334-5060 or send me an email at Dave.Chomiak@YourManitoba.ca.