Rolf Dinsdale, whose father represented Brandon–Souris as MP for more than 30 years, will seek the Liberal nomination.
A longtime media executive with deep Westman roots is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps and represent the Brandon-Souris federal riding.
Rolf Dinsdale, the youngest son of Walter Dinsdale —Brandon-Souris Progressive Conservative MP from 1951 to 1982 — has confirmed he will seek the Liberal party nomination for the riding vacated by Conservative MP Merv Tweed.
"Brandon is an exciting, growing community and Brandon-Souris is obviously going through a big development upsurge," Dinsdale said. "The desire to serve and enter public life and provide the kind of service to the community … that my forebearers had provided … is something deep in my blood and that I’ve wanted to do for a long time."
The Dinsdale name is well-known in Brandon’s history. George Dinsdale, Rolf’s grandfather, served six years as an alderman before being elected as Brandon’s mayor in 1920-21. George served as a Conservative MLA from 1932 until his death in 1943.
"Things that I share with my father and grandfather are …commitment to hard work. I am no stranger to hard work and overcoming challenges of all manner," Dinsdale said. "I have a very, very strong emotional connection to the place. No matter where I’ve lived or what I’ve done, I was always a proud Manitoban and a proud native son of the communities that my grandparents pioneered."
Dinsdale, 47, was born in Ottawa and grew up between Brandon and Canada’s capital. He earned degrees from the University of Western Ontario and Carleton University and went on to build a successful career in print and digital media, based in Ottawa and Toronto.
He served as publisher of Canadian magazine The Walrus, led the Facebook Canada team at Segal (Facebook’s Canadian agency partner), managing media sales and advertising operations for Facebook in Canada and most recently was part of the executive team that launched broadcast company Blue Ant Media.
Dinsdale left the position in Toronto a few months ago to return to Brandon, with the intention of laying the groundwork for a possible run in the 2015 federal election.
"Then this development came up," he said. "It bumped it up and I got a lot of phone calls and a lot of emails, as my interest was known to people."
Despite the family tradition with the Conservative party, Dinsdale said the Liberal party "is the only party that can broadly represent the interests of all Canadians."
"I think Justin Trudeau represents a new generation and a new vision and energy and is the only leader who can properly represent the broad interests of all Canadians," he said. "The Liberal party is set for a renaissance."
Dinsdale said he has a strong desire to give Brandon-Souris "a voice in the national conversation" as a "passionate defender of its interests and a passionate promoter."
"This is the greatest constituency in Canada, a place whose people I love dearly and have a strong emotional tie to," he said, adding he wants to "give them the kind of strong representation ... that hasn’t been evident here in some time."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 31, 2013