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PC incumbent doesn't take strong support for granted

Greg Vandermeulen
Emerson PC incumbent Cliff Graydon

Emerson PC incumbent Cliff Graydon

After one term as the MLA for Emerson, PC incumbent Cliff Graydon said he is more motivated than ever before. "I know how terribly important what we do is for the future of our province," he said.

Born and raised in Greenridge, Graydon has spent the past 30 years farming grain and raising purebred Charolais cattle. He is a former R.M. of Franklin councillor, and has held critic responsibilities as MLA including MPI, Liquor Control, lotteries, gaming and has been the ag critic for the last two years.

Founding member of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association, he also served as a member of the Stuartburn Piney Agricultural Development Association and the Prairies East Sustainable Agricultural Initiative.

He and his wife Rose Ellen, live in the Woodmore area and have two children, Amy and Warren, a daughter-in-law Venessa and three grandchildren, Bailey, Colby and Renee.

Graydon said the Conservative record of the region does not affect how he campaigns. "Even if there was no competition, I'd still be out there," he said. "I'm not taking people for granted. I don't ever want to jeopardize this constituency."

Health is a big issue in this campaign. "We don't have the quality of health care we should have," Graydon said.

That includes things like housing for seniors, and Graydon said that shortage must be addressed. He added that often people are on waiting lists. "And even then there's no guarantee you'll be in the community you supported all your life," he said.

Graydon pointed to the supervised living program funded by local churches in Altona at Ebenezer Home at an example that could work for many.

"It's taken three years to get the provincial government to even look at what they're doing," he said. "They're providing an essential service at a much lower cost than the government."

Graydon said the NDP has yet to end "hallway medicine" despite a promise to do so. "They've had 12 years and the backlog has gotten bigger and bigger."

Infrastructure is also a big concern for Graydon, although he did recognize the NDP for building the new bridge near Letellier. "That's the bridge that's been restricted for 10 years," he pointed out.

A new water strategy is also required according to Graydon, one that will address both flood and drought situations. "An overall water strategy is one of the first and foremost issues," he said.

Although he wouldn't confirm a PC government would give municipalities the one per cent of sales tax they're asking for, he said they will look into it. "We will review where we're at, once we see what the books are like," he said. "We will take the PST off any equipment that (municipalities) buy. It isn't right that one government taxes another government."

Graydon said it is time for a change, criticizing the NDP for doubling Manitoba's debt from $11 billion to $22 billion for failing to live up to promises on Lake Winnipeg, increasing slaughter capacity, creating a hemp plant and more. "There's not many positive things they have accomplished," he said.

"Fiscal responsibility, the Conservatives will bring to the table," he said. "We will encourage growth in the province".

Graydon said he's the man for the job.

I have four years of experience sitting in the legislature," he said, adding he also has real life experience, owning and operating his farm along with son.

"I have a good handle on the agriculture pulse in our constituency," he added. "I think it's important that whoever represents the constituency lives in the constituency. If you don't live here, you don't have your fingers on the pulse of the community at all."

"I have a good deal of faith in (Hugh McFadyen)," he said, adding a PC party would put Manitoba back on the road to prosperity.

"We won't be trying to borrow our way out of debt, we'll work our way out of debt."