Pullen running for NDP in Red River North

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This article was published 29/08/2019 (1187 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After seeing the changes at Concordia Hospital first-hand, Chris Pullen decided it was time to run for office.
Pullen, an active CUPE member who has worked at Concordia since 1999, is the New Democratic Party candidate for the new riding of Red River North, which includes the RM of East St. Paul, running north along the Red River up to Grand Beach. 
“Things were getting better,” Pullen, a 36-year-old West Pine Ridge resident, said about the health care system. “Despite what you might hear, the Pallister government’s plan is not working. I’ve not seen overtime this bad in a long time, people are going on leave for stress, we’re working short constantly, which jeopardizes the health of patients.”
With Concordia’s emergency room closed, Pullen said the only remaining option for many Red River North residents is the ER in Selkirk.
“St. Boniface is just too far,” he said.
The NDP plan to reopen the closed emergency rooms is one that Pullen is on board with.
“A lot of problems with ER wait times is a lack of beds,” he added. “That flow needs to be improved. Under the PC government, they’ve spent almost no money on long-term care beds. I’d be pushing for that.”
Education is also a priority for Pullen, who has two young children with his wife Trish.
“If the government starts cutting EAs or raising class sizes, that’s a big concern,” he said. 
The health of Lake Winnipeg is also of great concern to residents of Red River North, Pullen said, adding that he believes the NDP’s environmental policy could improve the health of the lake.
“We recently announced we’d fund the provincial portion to get North End treatment plant improvements,” he said. “(And) we need to expand the current criteria to contain zebra mussels. They’re in Lake Winnipeg, we’re not going to get rid of them, but we need to keep them from spreading to surrounding lakes and waterways. They will cause more damage to infrastructure than the cost of trying to contain.”
Although he has been involved with his local union for over a decade, serving as CUPE 204 unit vice-president for Concordia Hospital and as a trustee and political action committee member for CUPE Manitoba, this is Pullen’s first time running for public office. He said he hopes that new candidates such as himself will bring “some new life” to the provincial NDP.
“I’m hoping people will give us a shot and give myself a shot, based on what we’re bringing to their doorstep and not what’s happened under previous governments,” he said.

After seeing the changes at Concordia Hospital first-hand, Chris Pullen decided it was time to run for office.

Pullen, an active CUPE member who has worked at Concordia since 1999, is the New Democratic Party candidate for the new riding of Red River North, which includes the RM of East St. Paul, running north along the Red River up to Grand Beach. 

Supplied Chris Pullen is the NDP candidate for Red River North.

“Things were getting better,” Pullen, a 36-year-old West Pine Ridge resident, said about the health care system. “Despite what you might hear, the Pallister government’s plan is not working. I’ve not seen overtime this bad in a long time, people are going on leave for stress, we’re working short constantly, which jeopardizes the health of patients.”

With Concordia’s emergency room closed, Pullen said the only remaining option for many Red River North residents is the ER in Selkirk.

“St. Boniface is just too far,” he said.

The NDP plan to reopen the closed emergency rooms is one that Pullen is on board with.

“A lot of problems with ER wait times is a lack of beds,” he added. “That flow needs to be improved. Under the PC government, they’ve spent almost no money on long-term care beds. I’d be pushing for that.”

Education is also a priority for Pullen, who has two young children with his wife Trish.

“If the government starts cutting EAs or raising class sizes, that’s a big concern,” he said. 

The health of Lake Winnipeg is also of great concern to residents of Red River North, Pullen said, adding that he believes the NDP’s environmental policy could improve the health of the lake.

“We recently announced we’d fund the provincial portion to get North End treatment plant improvements,” he said. “(And) we need to expand the current criteria to contain zebra mussels. They’re in Lake Winnipeg, we’re not going to get rid of them, but we need to keep them from spreading to surrounding lakes and waterways. They will cause more damage to infrastructure than the cost of trying to contain.”

Although he has been involved with his local union for over a decade, serving as CUPE 204 unit vice-president for Concordia Hospital and as a trustee and political action committee member for CUPE Manitoba, this is Pullen’s first time running for public office. He said he hopes that new candidates such as himself will bring “some new life” to the provincial NDP.

“I’m hoping people will give us a shot and give myself a shot, based on what we’re bringing to their doorstep and not what’s happened under previous governments,” he said.

Sheldon Birnie

Sheldon Birnie
Community Journalist

Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at sheldon.birnie@canstarnews.com Call him at 204-697-7112

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