Steinbach resident Cyndy Friesen calls her time involved in provincial politics both “challenging” and “enjoyable”.
Friesen spent the past several weeks knocking on thousands of doors as the Liberal candidate in Winnipeg’s Fort Rouge Riding. Though her race pitted her against Green Party Leader James Beddome and NDP Leader Wab Kinew, Friesen says she was undeterred.
“I had nothing to lose,” she indicates, “I did not focus on who my opposition was, but rather on meeting the residents of Fort Rouge and hearing their concerns.”
Indeed, Friesen says facing the two party leaders did play to her advantage in some respects; while the Beddome and Kinew toured the province garnering clout, Friesen maintained a steady door-to-door campaign interested merely in speaking with as many people as possible.
Having grown up in Winnipeg, Friesen had a general expectation of what she would run into in Fort Rouge. Despite this preparedness, from day one she was pummeled with educated questions on health care, climate change, and the meth crisis. Still, Friesen says she held her ground.
“Absolutely, I put up a good fight! I got to meet so many wonderful people and have so many deep conversations.”
With three terms as a Hanover School Trustee and a run at Steinbach City Council as experience, Friesen was no stranger to campaigning heading into this election. The biggest difficulty this time around was not handling hot topics nor living far from home, but the sheer volume of people she wanted to meet.
“The ridings are large,” Friesen states “we’re dealing with 20,000 diverse people. It was very intense.”
After ballots were counted on Tuesday, Friesen says she was not hugely discouraged by her own loss. She was, however, disappointed that the Liberal Party as a whole came away with so few seats. She adds that getting to know her fellow candidates made the losses that much more personal.
“I had the opportunity to meet such wonderful people and I will cherish those memories forever.”
Friesen expects that she will take a break from politics now, insisting that her love of people will continue to direct her actions.
“My whole life I have had a passion for serving others and that has not stopped. So we will see where it goes from here.”
Friesen thanks her volunteers and supporters for the role they played in making her campaign a positive one.