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This article was published 28/3/2016 (1296 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
One River Heights woman is hoping to bring more jobs to the community if elected as MLA this spring.
Tracey Maconachie is running for the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba in River Heights. This is the first time she has put her name up for public office.
The mother of two has been the president of the Life Science Association of Manitoba (LSAM) for the past six years and is a former government liaison for Merck pharmaceuticals. LSAM is an industry association representing businesses that manufacture and sell medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, industrial and agricultural bio-technology and more, in Manitoba.
A longtime resident of the area, Maconachie said she felt the timing was right to give back and her past experience was a solid foundation for a shot in the political arena.
"My children are a little older now, they’re 16 and 13, and the pace of life shifted and I realized that I could be doing more and putting more back into the community," Maconachie said. "I attended a political event, and I thought about it and said I could actually make a difference right here in Manitoba."
Maconachie, 47, says there are a number of issues that are important to her in this election. Along with education, social health, and infrastructure, she says fostering a business environment that creates "good jobs" is something to pursue.
"My current work involves working very much in the knowledge-based economy," Maconachie said. "And I’ve seen in my last six years in doing this job that we can do better. We have to create more opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses who are really creating solutions to some of the biggest challenges that we have."
She says the PC’s commitment to a "full value audit" of programs within the government is the first step to creating the opportunities. Programs offered to local businesses will be reviewed to determine if they are having the intended effect and are financially viable.
"There are a great deal of programs that are intended to support businesses but there isn’t enough assessment of their value and there isn’t enough communications to small- and medium-sized businesses about those programs," she said. "So by completing this review, we’ll be able to evaluate which are the programs that are having the most impact for businesses and support and grow those programs."
On a more personal level, Maconachie says the most important issue is giving the people of River Heights a voice in government. The electoral district is currently represented by Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard who was elected in 1999. He has been the only Liberal MLA since 2011.
"They haven’t had a voice for 15 years," Maconachie said. "I want to give them that opportunity and that is the key piece for me."
Other candidates in River Heights include the NDP’s Shafagh Daneshfar and the Green Party’s Michael Cardillo. Check www.canstarnews.com and next week’s paper for more candidate profiles. The provincial election is April 19.
Danielle Da Silva
Community journalist — The Sou'wester
Danielle Da Silva is the community journalist for The Sou'wester. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org