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This article was published 19/8/2019 (362 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dashi Zargani is promising to be a champion for his neighbours if elected to represent Waverley in the upcoming provincial election.
The father of three school-aged children from Bridgwater Forest is running for MLA with the Manitoba New Democratic Party in the newly created electoral division.
"As a resident of the neighbourhood, I’ve been here since 2010, and the government and current MLA (which was Brian Pallister in Fort Whyte) did nothing for us here to improve our living, and life, and to make our neighbourhood affordable," Zargani said.
"That’s why we know we don’t have a school, we don’t have a community centre for recreation and activities, and that’s why my kids have to go to different areas for basketball, gymnastics, and swimming," he said.
As part of the 2018 Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission, the St. Norbert constituency was eliminated and voters were redistributed into the new Seine River, Fort Richmond, and Waverley electoral divisions.
The Waverley electoral division includes the communities of Bridgwater Forest and Bridgwater Lakes — formerly part of Fort Whyte — Bridgwater Trails, South Pointe, Prairie Pointe, and Waverley Heights.
This isn’t the first time Zargani, 49, has put his name forward for public office. In 2010, he ran in the municipal election for city councillor in Charleswood-Tuxedo and in the 2016 provincial election was the NDP’s candidate in Southdale. Zargani also served as the president of the NDP Tuxedo Constituency Association, and until 2016, worked at the legislature in the infrastructure and transportation minister’s office, handling administrative duties and serving as a board co-ordinator.
"I feel the NDP is representing my values," Zargani said. "We are working with the small businesses, we are working with the middle class people.
"Now is the time for change, that’s why I am asking all of the residents of Waverley to take the steps to move and change for someone who cares about you," he said.
In 1995, Zargani came to Canada from Iraq as a refugee, after spending five years in a refugee camp. While in Iraq, Zargani said he was politically active with a student-led movement, and earned an engineering degree in oil refinery from the Baghdad Oil Training Institute.
He is currently in his last year of a political science degree at the University of Manitoba and manages the Pony Corral on Pembina Highway.
Zargani said the biggest concerns for voters in Waverley are child care spaces in the community, local public schools, and local representation on Broadway. He said the NDP plans to increase the number of child care spaces available in the K to Grade 8 school announced for Waverley West, at Kenaston Boulevard and Bison Drive, as part of the 2018 provincial budget.
If elected, he said reopening the emergency room at Victoria General Hospital is a personal priority, even though the Manitoba NDP said they will only commit to reopening Seven Oaks and Concordia.
"This is my job and this is my commitment for my people in the south end," Zargani said. "There are priorities for these (Seven Oaks and Concordia), and of course we’ll open these, but the south has to get their share too from the health care, and that’s why we need to get the ER here in Victoria hospital."
Also running for MLA in Waverley are Jon Reyes for the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba and Fiona Haftani for the Manitoba Liberal Party. The provincial election is Sept. 10.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.
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