Andrew Smith is hoping to be the first MLA in the newly defined provincial riding of Lagimodière.
Smith, 38, is running for the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba in the new riding in next month’s provincial election, having been the MLA for Southdale since 2016.
As reported last year, the new electoral district of Lagimodière has been created, in part, to accommodate significant growth and projected growth in the Sage Creek area of southeast Winnipeg.
Smith said he made the decision to run in the new ward because the redefinition of the constituency boundaries means that he now lives in Lagimodière.
"It’s been an incredible honour to represent the people of Southdale, and now I live in Lagimodière side," said Smith, who married Jaime in 2017. The couple has a son, Lincoln, who is six months old. "I like to run where I live, and I had to pick one or the other."
In terms of the bigger picture, Smith said the birth of his son earlier this year further fuels his desire to seek a second term at the Manitoba legislature.
"I have a six-month-old at home now and I want his generation to have the same opportunities as our generation and past generations have had," Smith said, pointing to the Safer Streets, Safer Lives Action Plan — a re-election promise that was announced by the provincial government on Aug. 7, which is intended to address the rising use and distribution of methamphetamine and other dangerous street drugs in Manitoba.
During this election campaign, he said that citywide public safety has been one of the top talking points on people’s doorsteps.
And as he reflects on his first three years as an MLA, he said he’s driven to continue to represent the people in his community.
"It’s been a steep learning curve, but there’s nothing more fulfilling than serving the people, which makes me feel on top of the world. It’s very fulfilling," Smith said.
He said some of the local highlights of his first term include helping lobby for the creation of a cellphone tower in Sage Creek, successfully working toward the opening of daycare in Sage Creek, and helping secure funding for an outdoor learning addition to the grounds of Island Lakes Community School.
"My philosophy is to keep working hard, as it’s my duty to represent the people — that’s first and foremost. It’s important for me to keep my finger on the pulse, and help support the different things happening in the community," Smith said.
"It’s been a tremendous honour to represent Southdale, and I will miss the constituents in the riding, but I’m going to continue to work hard going forward."
Also running in Lagimodière are Liberal candidate Jake Sacher, Billie Cross for the NDP, and Green candidate Bob Krul. An interview with NDP candidate Cross was requested but, at press time, she had not responded. Krul has announced his candidacy since then.
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7111