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This article was published 20/8/2019 (358 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Education and climate change are two big concerns for Elliot Macdonald.
The 37-year-old vice-principal at Edmund Partridge Community School is running as MLA for Kildonan-River East for the NDP in the upcoming provincial election slated for Sept. 10.
"As a teacher, before I became an administrator, I always strived to make the kids in my class, and the kids that I was working with, stand up for the things they believe in and try to make a difference in the world," said the former West Kildonan Collegiate teacher.
Macdonald said he never expected to become a politician but saw an opportunity to stand up for what he believes in and protect the province’s education system and the environment.
"This is an opportunity for me to make a difference in the lives of the community I believe in," he continued. "I am proud of this community, I am a vice principal in this community. I moved my family to this community. And it was an offer that if I didn’t do it, I would look back and think this was an opportunity to make change. Community and trying to make change is super important to me."
With the closure of Concordia and Seven Oaks hospitals’ emergency departments, Macdonald thinks moving to the north side of Winnipeg is a "scary proposition." He said the current government took away services that were crucial to area residents.
He’s concerned that education is going to be the next system a Conservative government will hurt, especially since the Legislative Assembly passed Bill 28, the Public Services Sustainability Act that that calls for wage freeze for two years in the public sector, with a 0.75 per cent increase on year three and up to one per cent on year four.
"I’m on the division’s table team, and we have not been able to meet on any type of contract or negotiation with the division due to Bill 28," he said.
Prior to being a teacher, Macdonald worked as a Freshwater Fisheries biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and said climate change is also an issue of concern for him.
"I think it’s the most important thing that we are dealing with in this day and age, across the country, across the province and across the world. In Winnipeg we see a lot of the water run through the city and I think there needs to be a change to the things that we are doing and what we are putting in our water."
Aside from being an avid advocate for education and climate change, Macdonald continues to be involved in his community by coaching basketball in West Kildonan. He was also a competitive swimmer and mentioned that inclusion is another important topic that he wants to address if elected.
"I wanted to work in the Seven Oaks School Division and in the north end of the city because of their vision of what inclusion looks like in school and how important that is to the everyday lives of every one," he said.
Macdonald started a swim program for students with disabilities or different abilities that began with 15 and has grown to more than 70 swimmers. The program gives students an opportunity to continue swimming after school is completed.
"I believe we need to make community first. It’s the most important in the everyday life."
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti is the community journalist for The Times. Email her at email@example.com
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