When it comes to environmental issues in Manitoba and around the world, Kristin Lauhn-Jensen knows it’s time to intervene.
The 53-year-old from Tuxedo is running for MLA in the community with the Green Party of Manitoba.
Lauhn-Jensen is the director of development with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit legal firm that working in animal welfare and anti-cruelty fields. She also volunteers with Manitoba Animal Save.
Lauhn-Jensen said after leaving the province for some time, she returned about two years ago and was shocked by the current condition of Lake Winnipeg.
"That was a real eye-opener for me to see the state we’ve allowed that lake to degrade to," she said. "That is a globally important source of fresh water and it’s astonishing the level of pollution it contains, and it’s becoming fast a Lake Erie of the 1970s."
Lauhn-Jensen has been a longtime supporter of the Green Party of Manitoba and said she was approached by the party leadership to put her name on the ballot this election. The community for the past 19 years has been represented by Heather Stefanson and the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba.
"We need a new way of doing business. I think if people want to think holistically about themselves integrated into the broader environment — us as individuals, their community, their city, the province, and the environment holistically — I think we need to have a different way of doing business for our long-term health. We’re already seeing that with massive climate change now," Lauhn-Jensen said.
"Those costs are going to come back to hurt people in their pocketbooks."
There are a breadth of issues and concerns for people in Tuxedo, Lauhn-Jensen said, but health care continues to be top of mind.
"Health care is an important issue for everyone regardless of who you are or where you come from," she said. "And from that perspective, a more preventative approach to health care. How can we re-engineer our system to reduce the amount of illness we are seeing and the amount of disease we’re seeing?"
"Another issue is employment, poverty, and one solution the Greens are looking at is a basic income and figuring out a system that would make that work effectively.
"I think if we are addressing issues around poverty, around employment that allows people to be self-sufficient and I think you see resulting reductions in crime," Lauhn-Jensen said.
Also running for MLA in Tuxedo are PC candidate Heather Stefanson, Liberal candidate Marc Brandson, NDP candidate Carla Compton, and Manitoba First candidate Abby Al-Sahi. The Manitoba First candidate did not respond to an interview request.
Danielle Da Silva