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This article was published 14/9/2020 (219 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Kildonan-St. Paul MP Raquel Dancho has added a bit of weight onto her shoulders, following her appointment as the new critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship in Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole’s new shadow cabinet.
Less than one year after Dancho was elected into her first term as a MP for the federal Conservative Party, the 30-year-old North Kildonan resident will have another opportunity to prove herself.
"I was just very honoured," Dancho told Canstar Community News. "It’s a very big deal for a young member of parliament to have a file this large."
O’Toole announced on Sept. 8 new appointments to his shadow cabinet, whose responsibility is to hold accountable the members of the federal cabinet. The Conservative leader has garnered applause from political strategists for his effort to involve young and/or female politicians. Eleven of the 43 shadow ministers are women.
"It’s a great shadow cabinet, full of a new generation of MPs," said Dancho, who worked with the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba for five years before entering federal politics.
In her role as critic for the immigration, refugees and citizenship file, Dancho explained her priorities will be family reunification and the role of immigration in Canada’s economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, although she admitted she is unsure what the latter will look like since the pandemic has stalled most international travel.
"Kildonan-St. Paul has welcomed newcomers for generations and I have seen first-hand the jobs created by small businesses owned by newcomer Canadians, and the family childcare support reunited families provide in the community," Dancho stated in a recent news release.
She added that O’Toole has encouraged a "compassionate" approach to immigration in order to begin a "new chapter" for the party.
In what has been an eventful 11 months for the freshman MP, Dancho said the greatest challenge has been adopting another life in another province.
"The biggest learning curve has been moving half (my) life to Ottawa," she said.
With the political experience to back her up, she explained that speaking in the House of Commons, advocating for changes to programs, and connecting with constituents have been some of the highlights so far. And now, she’s looking forward to starting her new role as a shadow minister.
"It gives me another opportunity to represent the constituents of Kildonan-St. Paul."
The Times community journalist
If The Buggles’ 1979 breakout single were about Sydney, it might be called Print Killed the Radio Star. Before she joined Canstar Community News, Sydney was an anchor and a reporter for a few local news radio stations in rural Manitoba. After realizing she enjoyed writing more than speaking, Sydney moved to Winnipeg just months after graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa with degrees in journalism and geography. Through clenched teeth and frostbitten fingers, she has come to appreciate Winnipeg — numbing winters and all. When she’s not in the newsroom, Sydney can be found playing card games, listening to music, and writing content for her friends who are too cheap to hire a PR team. Sydney has a strong heart for community news and believes every neighbourhood, town and city is better off because of it — although she may be biased. Sydney loves learning about communities and what makes them tick, which is why she’s grateful to be a reporter covering northwest Winnipeg neighbourhoods, where resilience and innovation is abundant. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org