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This article was published 22/8/2019 (882 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Tanya Hansen Pratt’s campaign to represent the people of Radisson in the provincial Legislature has been a long time coming.
"It was suggested by a history teacher in high school that I attend Youth Parliament, so I think that’s where the spark started," said the 45-year-old married mother of three, who is running for the Manitoba Liberal Party.
"I’ve been familiar with politics by speaking to politicians and working for policy change," she said.
When her mother was killed by an impaired driver 20 years ago, Hansen Pratt got involved in the Winnipeg chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. A former Air Force Reserve Cadet Instructor, Hansen Pratt has also worked in the HVAC industry, and has been involved with the Business & Professional Women of Canada. This is her first time running for office.
"I’ve thought about it for a long time," she admitted. "Last year, I considered running for civic election, but it just wasn’t the right time for my family. This time around, it seemed like better timing."
Hansen Pratt said she was drawn to the Manitoba Liberal Party because of their platform.
"I’ve always tended to vote on policy rather than party. But over time, as I’ve gotten older, I feel that my views have gotten more moderate," she said. "The Liberal Party appealed to me because of that."
In particular, the party’s plan to make Manitoba carbon neutral by 2030 is important to her. She also said that running is a way to be a positive role model for her children.
"I’m running because I want a better world for them," she said. "I want to spread a positive message, that we can make a difference if we work hard and work together. I’m proud to be able to do that for my kids, so one day they can go out into the world and make a positive difference as well."
Hansen Pratt said that the changes at Concordia Hospital are chief among concerns she’s hearing going door-to-door.
"Concordia comes up at about half the houses I go to," she said. "Just reopening the ER doesn’t seem like a solution. People are looking for a long term solution that allows them access to appropriate health care again."
Hansen Pratt lives with her husband Gord and their 10-, 12-, and 14-year-old children in Valley Gardens. She said that education and child care are also among the chief concerns for her and her neighbours.
"Education is a big deal to me, with three kids. I want to make sure they’re all provided a really good education," she said. "For young families in my area, I want them to have appropriate child care. Getting my kids into daycare was virtually impossible. You have to get them on the list at birth. I want families to be supported, to find appropriate child care that they can afford."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7112