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This article was published 13/9/2011 (3565 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The field of provincial election candidates in the Wheat City widened Tuesday.
On the last day candidates could register with Elections Manitoba, the Green Party of Manitoba confirmed the nomination of Vanda Fleury as its candidate in Brandon East.
Fleury, 27, lived in Brandon East until 2008 and now resides in Winnipeg, where she is working on a masters degree in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.
She tells the Sun she is excited to be part of the fresh, young Green Party team.
"I really like the platform that the Green Party represents, both provincially and federally," she said.
"I think it’s an opportunity for a lot of people my age — even our party leader (James Beddome) is 27 (years old) — to get involved with politics and have their say."
Growing up in the Brandon East constituency, Fleury said she is aware of its social issues and challenges.
However, she said the positives certainly outweigh the negatives.
"There’s a deep, strong sense of community in people really helping each other out," she said.
"Our immigrant population has brought just a really colourful landscape to Brandon ... embracing that and just really bringing everybody together, I think, would be one of the most important things."
Fleury said she said she would personally like to see the provincial leadership in Brandon East move toward more preventative projects to help at-risk residents.
"Doing more things for youth, whether it’s community gardens or sports programs and arts programs and that sort of thing ... they not only involve youth and the younger kids, it’s a process for parents and older generations as well," she said. "Everybody kind of comes together in a good way."
Community gardens would also work to strengthen the constituency’s "local economy," she said.
Fleury said she has never run for public office before, but has actively supported former Brandon-Souris federal Green candidate David Barnes’ campaigns.
"I’m excited to be part of the process," she said. "I see it as a learning process for a lot of people because it’s amazing, both in provincial and federal politics, how few voters we actually have turn out (to vote). I think it’s a really exciting time, especially for people around my age, within that framework, to be part of something."
Fleury joins NDP incumbent Drew Caldwell, Progressive Conservative candidate Mike Waddell and Liberal candidate Shaun Cameron in the Brandon East race.
Meanwhile, perennial Communist Party of Manitoba candidate Lisa Gallagher is now listed on the Elections Manitoba website as an official candidate in Brandon West.
Gallagher finished dead last in the constituency in the 2007 provincial election with 43 votes. Prior to that, she ran in Brandon East in the 2003 provincial election, picking up 58 votes, and was also a provincial candidate in Brandon West in 1999.
She was also a federal candidate for the Communist Party of Canada in Brandon-Souris in four separate elections.
The Sun was unable to contact Gallagher for comment by last night’s press deadline.
Also running in Brandon West is NDP candidate Jim Murray, Progressive Conservative candidate Reg Helwer and Liberal candidate George Buri.
Green candidates have also registered last-minute in a pair of Westman-area constituencies, as Signe Knutson and Kate Storey are now officially registered in Riding Mountain and Agassiz, respectively.