Amanda Lathlin is running for re-election as the NDP candidate in The Pas-Kameesak riding.
Amanda is a former MLA and a lifelong northerner, becoming the first First Nations woman to serve as an MLA for The Pas in 2015. She attended the University of Manitoba and has worked at the University College of the North. She values education, good jobs and investment in families. Like her father, she believes in hard work for northern communities.
The Interlake Spectator caught up with her to ask her five questions about her candidacy.
The Interlake Spectator:What has inspired you to run for Member of the Legislative Assembly?
Amanda Lathlin:I was born and raised in my community of The Pas and I first ran for MLA because I wanted to be a strong voice for the families I grew up with. As a re-elected MLA I will work to fix our health care system, create good jobs in our community, strengthen supports for kids in the classroom and keep life affordable for regular families.
IS:How do you feel you can make a difference for your local community?
AL:I’m proud to be a member of a party that prioritizes northern Manitoba. The NDP is committed to giving our community better health care closer to home by reinstating the obstetrics program in Flin Flon, bringing back a public Lifeflight service and partnering with the federal government to build new hospital-level health centres in northern First Nations.
IS: What aspect of your party’s platform to you admire most in order to make a difference locally and for all residents of Manitoba?
AL:As a mother, I care about improving mental health care for young people and families in The Pas. The NDP has a plan to transform mental health care and expand supports to northern families and students. It starts with appointing a Minister Responsible for Mental Health and Addictions to oversee high quality care across the province. We would provide $1.5 million in grants to organizations and counsellors who provide free or low-cost counselling services to families. We would also create Integrated Youth Teams in schools that will support young people and help guide them through the mental-health system. These new programs, combined with investments in northern health care will ensure young people in The Pas get the care they need.
IS:What is the number one issue in your mind for the constituency that you are running in?
AL:Brian Pallister’s cuts have caused real damage in health care that may take years to undo. His cuts to the Northern Regional Health Authority have meant poorer quality care for patients and more chaos for front lines nurses and doctors. I want to help fix our health care system so that northern families get the high quality care they deserve, no matter how much money they have.
IS: What is the number one issue in your mind for the province?
AL:Brian Pallister’s only in it for those at the top. His health care cuts have hurt patients and nurses. His cuts to infrastructure have meant thousands of lost jobs throughout the province and millions in lost revenue for our communities. He raised property taxes on 25,000 homeowners across the province—many of them low-income northern families. After he finishes his attack on our health care system he’ll make the same cuts to education—meaning more kids packed in the classroom, less money for nutrition programs and transportation, and fewer teachers and EAs. His plan to privatize Manitoba Hydro and MPI has meant higher bills for regular families and big handouts to wealthy executives.
Only the NDP can form a government that is there for all of us, not just those at the top.