The Progressive Conservative candidate for La Verendrye says he is running in this election in order that there is effective representation for the residents of his constituency.
Konrad Narth says the most common comment he is hearing at the door is that people want to feel that they are represented.
"They want to know that their representative is available and there for them and their concerns when they are made," says Narth. "So that's probably the largest priority that I'm seeing."
Narth says it stems from the fact that La Verendrye is prosperous and growing rapidly and that residents do not want to be left in the shadows of an active environment.
A lifelong resident of Zhoda, Narth owns an automotive dealership. His wife runs a store in Vita and their family also farms in the area.
Narth says he has always been involved in politics. He chose to run for the nomination of the PC party last fall because it aligns the closest with his personal values and political beliefs.
"When our current MLA Dennis Smook announced that he was retiring, I stepped up because I felt that it's important that we have effective representation for the constituency of La Verendrye," adds Narth.
The PC candidate says he would love to represent La Verendrye because it is one of the fastest-growing constituencies in Manitoba and also the most progressive.
"We've got a lucrative economic environment mixed with one of the youngest populations in all of Manitoba," says Narth. "And we include two of the fastest growing municipalities in the entire province of Manitoba. So, we've got a lot to be proud of."
Narth says it is his opinion that La Verendrye and the southeast corner of Manitoba should be at the forefront of leading our province. And he thinks it will take someone who knows how to navigate the political system and who can be effective in representing the constituents of the area. Narth has 12 years of experience serving the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn.
"I've been involved long enough to know the direction that we're going, and we need the time and I need the support for being placed in the position where I can be influential," he adds.
As a candidate, Narth says he is not carrying a long list of promises.
"I think that what's most important is that we have a voice that's able to represent who we are at the Manitoba Legislature and not the Manitoba Legislature representing its agenda to the people of La Verendrye," says Narth. "So that's the basics of my priorities."
Narth says some big-picture goals include ensuring that government barriers be removed that are restricting prosperity in the southeast. He says health care is also important, noting they need to protect rural health care coverage and investment. He notes in its 2023 budget, the Conservatives announced a $120 million investment to recruit health care professionals to Manitoba. Narth says this includes $40 million dedicated to rural Manitoba investment.
"It's going to do tremendous work for retaining the services in health care that we have in our constituency," he adds.
Narth says investment and effective planning in infrastructure is also a priority.
In addition to effective representation, Narth says another common concern he is hearing at the door has to do with the education of children and navigating the school system in a new age.
With regards to the proposed Sio Silica extraction project in southeastern Manitoba, Narth says this does not seem to be a real election issue in his constituency, though he says this project is of concern to him and that the protection of our clean drinking water should not be taken lightly.
Election day is October 3rd in Manitoba. Narth invites the public to Zhoda Hall after 7 pm on that day, where his supporters will be gathering to follow the election coverage.
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