Another name has been removed from the list of candidates vying to fill Candice Bergen's seat as the Conservative MP for Portage-Lisgar.
Josh Okello has shifted his aspirations to provincial politics instead, and is now vying for the Progressive Conservative nomination in Morden-Winkler.
Born and raised in a rural village located in the east African country of Kenya, Okello emigrated to Canada in 2009 to pursue an education in business administration and philosophy. After graduating, he moved to Winkler where he met his wife and they've lived there ever since.
In February, Okello announced his intention to run for the federal candidacy as the candidate for the Conservative Party for Portage-Lisgar.
Okello explains why he's opted to switch to provincial politics.
"There's a Latin phrase that goes "vox populi, vox dei", [meaning] the voice of the people is the voice of God. The more and more I share about my platform, what I stand for, some of the changes I would like to see in our community, the more people directed me to pursue provincial leadership because there's a direct impact if the ideas that I'm having will be implemented in our communities. So, that is the main reason why there's that change, it is the people asking for it."
Another factor that came to bear on his decision was recent tax increases in both communities.
"There are strategies that can be implemented to help reduce those taxes, if we have strategic partnerships with the right people. Recently, we also saw the need for affordable housing, including homelessness. There are solutions that can be put in place and i have been personally and directly involved with coming up with these solutions, including designing these affordable homes using alternative material."
Okello recognizes health care as a major issue facing residents in the Morden-Winkler riding.
"Especially in our community, we've seen doctors leave. We've seen families that are struggling to get our physicians. We have plans in place for that. We're using our networks that I'm having as an adjunct professor at one of our institutions around here to build networks with medical schools, to see that they can send us their best students to come and do residency within our community."
As an immigrant himself, Okello believes that one of the answers to the region's current labor shortage is a vetted immigration plan that focuses on bringing in only those people who add value to the community.
~With files from Reporter Robyn Wiebe