Ben Carr to run in Winnipeg South Centre
Dialogue, bridge-building key to balancing needs
It was a decision he didn’t take lightly – but it’s one he feels he’s been preparing for his entire life.
Ben Carr, son of Jim Carr, the late Liberal MP for Winnipeg South Centre, announced last Thursday that he will be seeking the federal Liberal Party nomination in the riding his father represented until December 2022. With a strong candidate in city councillor Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) also vying for the nomination, he has his work cut out for him.
But Carr feels he knows the community well, given his deep roots in the area.
“Winnipeg South Centre is a diverse riding – more so than many people realize,” Carr said. “The needs of its residents are as diverse as the backgrounds of those who call it home.”
Balancing the diverse needs of people from communities such as South Osborne with those of people in more suburban neighbourhoods can be a challenge, but Carr acknowledged that “ongoing dialogue and addressing of concerns are critical to a vibrant community and economy here in the riding.”
That’s a lesson he learned by helping his father with his campaigns.
“The best way to represent people is to listen to them, and to do so often,” Carr said.
He also inherited a strong belief that relationships and bridge-building – across different levels of government and party lines – are at the core of all good politics.
“Although there are different circumstances and issues that can, generally speaking, face one part of the riding over another, there is a collective desire,” he says. “What I have heard from people during my recent discussions is that people are predominantly focused on the environment, reconciliation, child care, health care, addictions, and affordability.”
Having spent several years as an educator and school administrator, both within and outside the riding, he also has a keen grasp of the issues most important to the youth of today – who he considers “by far the most informed of any generation in history.”
“They are keenly aware of the challenges they are inheriting,” he said, “and have the energy, intellect, and drive to be a part of real change.”
Ben’s work experience goes beyond education, and his resume speaks for itself; he is currently the vice-president of the Indigenous Strategy Alliance and has also worked as director of parliamentary affairs at the department of Canadian heritage, as a research associate for the Institute of Urban Studies, and as executive director of the United Nations Association in Canada.
He looks forward to letting potential constituents get to know him.
“One of the things I have always admired about the people of this community – where I live and grew up – is that they have a deep social conscience,” he said. “They have always understood that creating a fair and just country is about finding the balance between wealth creation and distribution, with an eye always on those in need.”
South Osborne community correspondent
Andrew Braga is a community correspondent for South Osborne.