Loren Braul has again put his name forward and will be on the ballot for the upcoming provincial election. He’s back as the Manitoba Liberal Party candidate for Borderland, after previously running for the party in the 2019 and 2016 general elections 

The lawyer, who lives with his family just southwest of Altona in Altbergthal, was asked why he chose to run again. 

“I do think it's important that we have people on the ballot who, if the stars aligned and they were elected, would be able to do the job,” explained Braul. “I think my skill set, through work interacting with laws, solving problems, communicating with people who have different views about difficult issues, that's what I practice every day. I do try to approach those things trying to isolate the issues, and to focus on things we can do to resolve individual issues, to minimize the things we disagree on, and maximize the things we agree on, so we can focus on those hard conversations, and build on the common ground we do have to solve them.” 

Braul believes the skills he has would transfer well to the role of being M.L.A. for Borderland. 

He points to “stability” as the main theme for this vote, specifically within the context of funding, whether that be for municipalities, healthcare or education. 

“For the last number of years the current government has said just deal with less,” said Braul. “So here, school divisions, you can't raise any new revenue through taxes, or healthcare regions you have to cut your budget by 15 or 20 per cent. Or municipalities, if you want to share this $80 million pot of money across all the municipalities in the province, it means a lot of needs are going to go unmet. All these different groups are competing for scraps of money and are not able to meet the needs of their community.” 

Braul feels the primary objective of the current Progressive Conservative government has been to reduce the amount of money available. 

“But I've never heard them say this is enough money, or this is the right amount of money,” he added. “We don't have a sense of are we meeting the needs, right? There's no actual needs assessment, or different studies being done, to say are we sustainably funding these different institutions that are critical to our daily lives. It's simply deal with less, and that just isn't an approach that makes sense to me. I think the government, with all its resources, should be considering what are the needs of the communities.” 

Meanwhile, heading into the October 3rd vote, Braul feels the overall political sphere needs to be become better listeners and more reasonable. 

“We will have to take some deliberate steps to minimize the partisanship that has been growing in our in our province, our communities, in our country if we want to keep having a common purpose, whether it's people living in Altona or Manitoba,” he explained. “We'll need to be deliberate about minimizing the language that we use, like ‘other people’, right? When we talk about people we expect to fundamentally disagree with, I think we lose a lot of space to agree on things. It may be that when we keep the common ground of things that we agree on, and focus on those things, the issues we disagree on at least don't fundamentally jeopardize the fabric of community.” 

Braul noted we can disagree with without being disagreeable.  

“We don't need to all share the same beliefs and values, and I don't expect that to be the case,” he added. “In fact, that diversity in those views is what makes Canada, Manitoba and Borderland an interesting place to live. We do need to keep that in the forefront.” 

- With files from Candace Derksen - 

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