Jocelyn Burzuik, the Manitoba First candidate for Red River North, is hoping to bring some accountability back to Broadway.
"If we don’t have that attitude of accountability at the top, we’ll go nowhere," Burzuik, who was born in Selkirk and still lives in the Interlake, told The Herald. "And we see that within our province."
As president of Sundance Construction and with a background in the construction industry, Burzuik is well-versed in project management and contract negotiations.
"I understand how those costs impact a project and how they impact the taxpayer," she said, adding that she has managed projects in excess of $120 million over the course of her career. "Put me in a room with any of our ministers when it comes to infrastructure, I would be able to educate them well."
A military veteran who served 19 years in the Armed Forces, Burzuik described herself as both a "fiscal conservative" and also an "environmentalist," with a passion for ensuring Manitobans have access to clean drinking water.
"How do we tie fiscal accountability with accessible and smart environmental responsibility?" she said. "I live on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, I fish Lake Winnipeg, I see those problems."
Burzuik said she put her name on the ballot for the first time after growing frustrated and disillusioned with the provincial government over a number of recent wastewater projects in the Interlake.
"I ran protests against our MLA, Jeff Wharton," Burzuik said. "Nobody listened. I’m a business owner who gives back to my community. If he’s not going to talk to me, what kind of voice is he going to provide for Red River North?"
If elected, Burzuik believes she can provide a voice that is not tied to traditional party politics.
"I can bring a voice that’s not afraid," she said. "I’m not afraid to dig in. I am used to starting from nothing. I understand what hard work is, and I’m completely disciplined."
Burzuik would like to see the government’s procurement strategy streamlined.
"You have to clean that up," she said. "The key to projects going over budget is bureaucracy delay. If you can fix that portion, you’ll see a trickle down effect."
The savings, she said, could be diverted to fund social projects like beds for addictions treatment.
"That’s something I’m following in the area, because I see people impacted, be it alcohol, meth, whatever," she added.
While Burzuik is hopeful that Red River North residents will vote for a change on Sept. 10, she said that just by providing an alternative is a win.
"I’m getting these issues on the table," she said.
Community journalist — The Herald
Sheldon Birnie is the community journalist for The Herald Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7112