With a provincial election less than three weeks away, candidate nominations are finalized for the constituencies and Morden-Winkler will see three names on the ballot. Winnipeg's Mattison Froese the Liberal Party Candidate, Winkler's Carrie Hiebert the Progressive Conservative Candidate and Morden's Ken Friesen for the New Democratic Party. 

Friesen is very familiar with this area. 

"I was born and raised here in Winkler, spent all my formative years going to the same schools, the same churches, the same youth events as everyone else in this area. And then when I graduated high school, I went to Providence College, got a Bachelor of Arts there, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Religion from the U of M after that. I lived and worked in Winnipeg for a while, lived in Korea for four years teaching English and then came back, met the love of my life, Michelle, got married and then moved to Morden. We call Morden our home."  

Along with those qualifications, Friesen explained why he is running. 

"I've been very active in the community. I experience all sorts of privileges and love and joy in this community, and I want to make sure that everyone else is as well, especially my six-month-old son. I want to make sure the future is bright and beautiful as it possibly can be, and that he can live his best life, along with everyone else in our community."  

He added, "We need people in the Legislature who will not just be a voice for a subset of the community, we need the person to be a megaphone amplifying all the voices in our community." 

In Morden-Winkler Heathcare is the number one issue for Friesen, particularly Walk in Clinic wait times and the need to bring in more family doctors. 

"I've been on the wait list for four years. I have not gotten to see the family doctor yet. And when I signed up four years ago, I was told nobody had been taken off the wait list in four years, which means it's possible that in eight years, the line hasn't moved. We need to get more doctors, more nurses here.”  

We need family doctors. We need people here. We need someone in the Legislature who's going to fight for us." 

There are other concerns brought forward by the NDP, Friesen is also concerned about. 

"Other issues are affordability. Things are too expensive. And so, the NDP is going to be cutting the provincial gas tax while inflation remains high. We want to freeze hydro rates and stop hiking hydro rates at the cabinet table and want to keep Manitoba hydro public. The PCs have been selling it off in pieces. What ends up happening is the cost of living just keeps going up." 

Friesen said if elected, he is not content just to be the voice for Morden-Winkler, he wants to be a megaphone for all voices, using his privilege as a cis-gender, heterosexual, middle aged man for all people in the community. 

"That means ensuring that anyone in a minority group is feeling safe and secure in who they are and that they are able to be themselves freely in public. And so, some of the rhetoric from the PCs is making life a little less secure for some individuals in my community, and it breaks my heart. I want to make sure that everyone is able to live their best life."  

You can find a full list of candidates for all constituencies in Manitoba here.

Advance voting begins Saturday, September 23rd, and runs through September 30th.  Polls will be open 8am to 8pm Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6pm on Sunday. Election day is October 3rd, and polls will be open 8am to 8pm that day.