A familiar face in the Brandon-Souris riding is once again seeking the NDP nomination.
John Bouché finished second to Conservative MP Merv Tweed in both the 2011 and 2008 federal elections, and is hoping to turn the tide in the NDP’s favour in the upcoming byelection.
"We need a change," he said. "We can’t keep going the way we’re going. It’s not good."
The locomotive engineer and Teamsters Canada union representative also ran for the nomination in 2004 and 2006 but was unsuccessful.
Bouché was born and raised in Belgium before moving to Winnipeg with his family in 1966. He was transferred to Brandon in 1986 and has been here ever since.
"I’ve always been a supporter of the NDP, both federally and provincially, since I was 18 years old," he said. "I raised my family, my girls are adults now. When the time was right I decided to step up a bit and run, get more involved, more into the front line instead of … in the back row."
Bouché is currently president of the provincial NDP association for Brandon West, as well as vice-president of the Brandon-Souris NDP federal riding association.
"(The NDP) has always been supportive of the working families, for seniors, for minorities, education, health, pensions, that’s my main thing," he said. "The existing government and the ones before, always found money to help others outside of this country, we’re talking billions of dollars … but yet they turn around and say they don’t have any money to help our kids get an education … not helping our seniors the way we should be helping them."
Bouché said that is one of the issues he would "fight for all the way."
"I’m sorry but if you find all that money to help everybody else in this world, we should have enough money to help our own people in this country," he said.
Also in the running for the NDP nomination is Brandon Labour Council president Cory Szczepanski.
There are three people vying for the Conservative nomination: Tweed’s former executive assistant, Chris Kennedy, Brandon city councillor Len Isleifson and Arthur-Virden MLA Larry Maguire.
No Liberals have stepped forward yet.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 28, 2013