Portage la Prairie

Green Party of Manitoba (GPM) - Candidate: Arishya Aggarwal

The candidate did not respond by our September 20, 2023 deadline

Manitoba Liberal Party (MLP) - Candidate: Ralph Dooley

The candidate did not respond by our September 20, 2023 deadline

New Democratic Party of Manitoba (NDP) - Candidate: Acacia Weselake

The candidate did not respond by our September 20, 2023 deadline

The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba (PC) - Candidate: Jeff Bereza

Q: How have disabilities played a role in your life and the lives of your loved ones?

As a young man, my uncle was afflicted with polio. A lifelong bachelor, he needed more care as he aged, and his sister, my mother, became responsible for that care. We lived in Portage la Prairie and my uncle lived on the family homestead in rural Manitoba, a 2-hour drive. Given the lack of services in his community my mom had to prepare all his meals, do his laundry, and clean his house, so she and my dad would make the trek every couple of weeks, year-round. It was exhausting for my mom, who did these tasks for him until she was well in her 70s. The lack of localized support in his rural community impacted our family – for the stress it created for my mom, for my uncle, who felt like a burden, and for the rest of the family, who wanted to ease this burden but didn’t know how.

Q: Which one of DMVote’s 5 priority issues is of the greatest interest to you and why?

I am not able to select just one priority issue. Disabled Manitobans require and deserve their basic needs met, employment opportunities, timely and effective services and resources, skilled workers to assist them in their daily lives, and the ability to fully participate in all aspects of life that most of us take for granted.

Q: Disability discrimination has made up the largest share by far of all the formal complaints lodged with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission over the last 20 years. What do you think accounts for this and what do you think needs to be done to address it?

This is a very disheartening statistic. Certainly, a lack of public awareness of disability issues may be part of the problem. A public information campaign highlighting the positives of hiring persons with disabilities is needed. But I also believe ensuring there is attention directed to all five priority issues is required to ensure discrimination toward people with disabilities is eradicated. The barriers people with disabilities face in their daily lives is part of what leads to lack of understanding and empathy on the part of non-disabled people. Removing these barriers would ensure people with disabilities would be able to participate fully in daily life in a more inclusive way, which would in turn remove some of the discrimination they currently face.