Lauren Stone says there needs to be fresh voice and new energy standing up for families at the Manitoba Legislature, and that is why she is seeking the Progressive Conservative nomination in the constituency of Midland.

Stone lives in La Salle with her husband and their two children. 

"Families are the backbone of our rural communities, our farms, churches, businesses and everything in between," she said. "I want to see families across our communities thrive, and with my strong business background, I look to bring that fresh voice and voice of common sense to stand up for our rural communities so we are prioritized and not forgotten."

Stone has spent her career working in the private sector in the agri-business industry, and with her husband coming from a sixth generation farm in Domain, she says the success of the constituency is very important to her. 

"So, I've already been a strong advocate for rural issues and rural economic development. I've dedicated most of my career to educating elected officials across the country on issues impacting families and rural businesses."

"The Manitoba economy is reliant on the health and success of our rural areas, and prioritizing our families and communities is a key component to attracting and retaining the services that we all rely on," added Stone, noting she wants to ensure that she is helping to make life more affordable. "The federal carbon tax and the proposed reductions in fertilizer use are just two examples that impact the cost of food at the grocery store and food affordability. (This is) something that I'm hearing quite often as I talk to folks around the constituency."

Another issue she'd like to stand up for, if elected, is economic development and growth, noting Southern Manitoba has a lot to offer. 

"With my experience in rural economic development, I want to be the voice to advocate for investment into our communities to ensure we're not losing out to other jurisdictions across Canada. In order for our communities to thrive, we need to start prioritizing investment...such as PR highways, water management. Communities grow, businesses invest when we have the right infrastructure in place."

When asked what her approach would be should she win the nomination and ultimately, a seat in the legislature in the upcoming provincial election slated for Fall 2023, Stone said, "Midland constituents need to be listened to. Elected officials work for the people not the other way around, and if you're going to work for people, you actually have to talk to people. So, it's very important to me that the residents of Midland are heard and their issues are represented at the Manitoba Legislature, and that the issues are taken action on as well."

Two other candidates are vying for the PC nomination. They are Doug Dobrowolski and Shannon Martin.

A nomination meeting will be held October 29th at the Brunkild Community hall starting at 9 a.m. It is only open to PC party members. There, all three candidates will have an opportunity to deliver a speech and present their cases. Voting will take place any time during the meeting starting in the morning, but must be complete by 5 p.m.