John Cacayuran is broadening his work in the community.
Cacayuran is the Manitoba Liberal Party candidate for the McPhillips constituency in this year’s provincial election. This is the second time that he is running for a provincial seat — In 2017 he ran against Bernadette Smith in the Point Douglas byelection.
Two years after that campaign, Cacayuran said he has gained much more experience and developed crucial skills. Since 2016, he has been working as the constituency assistant for Kildonan-St. Paul MP MaryAnn Mihychuk.
The 41-year-old father of two said he is concerned about access to daycare, among other things. Since beginning to look for space for his own children, he realized the struggles the facilities, staff and young parents face.
"Especially with what the province is intending to do with this (education) review, it’s just cuts," he said.
His kids and their future are his main inspirations to run one more time.
"I wanted to be that leader for not just my community, but the province. I am thinking about my kids and other people’s kids and the future we want to provide them," he continued.
As a constituency assistant, Cacayuran has also been actively involved with the projects and issues that residents have brought up. He is also involved with the Kildonan-St. Paul Seniors Council which gives elderly people a voice and representation with the federal government.
"I understood early on that helping people is gratifying. A lot of people say that helping people and being part of a community and providing a solution comes naturally to me. I don’t think everyone can do it. And if I have that ability and people recognize that, why wouldn’t I offer my services to the community? Let me help this community out," he said.
Aside from working with Mihychuk, Cacayuran also worked as an investigator for the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba, where he also had the experience to deal with politics and policies.
"I have 15 years with the province as an
investigator, it’s a different type of government and politics, but you enforce regulation, you understand it, you have to be able to communicate why you’re doing things," he said.
He is bringing that experience to the floor if he is elected to represent McPhillips in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly.
"You hear from politicians and candidates ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that,’ it’s never ‘this is what I am going to do for you,’" he said. "It’s that mentality that there’s not a lot of people looking out for others. It feels that way."
"There needs to be more people helping out and more people putting others first."
Outside of politics, Cacayuran also volunteers as a soccer coach and at his children’s daycare. He is a fan of football and the
Winnipeg Bombers and enjoys hanging out with his kids playing with Lego.
Also running for McPhillips is Shannon Martin (PC), Greg McFarlane (NDP), Jason Smith (Green Party), and Dave Wheeler (Manitoba First). Smith didn’t respond to an interview request by press time, and Wheeler declined to be interviewed.
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti is the community journalist for The Times. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org