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This article was published 14/11/2018 (567 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Months after leaving his post as head of Keystone Agricultural Producers, Dan Mazier will represent the Conservative Party of Canada in the next general election as the candidate for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa.
Mazier, 54, won the nomination Saturday after four days of voting in Swan River, Russell, Dauphin and Minnedosa.
The former KAP president was elected through a ranked ballot system, defeating former Mountain View School Division trustee Floyd Martens and former Manitoba Beef Producers president Ben Fox.
Mazier said the other candidates ran great campaigns and he wanted to thank the volunteers, friends and neighbours who stepped forward to help him during the nomination process.
"When you look at the whole riding after that, all the contacts I’ve made, friends I’ve made over the last four and a half months, it is going to be a true honour to represent the people of Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa running up into the next federal election," Mazier said.
Mazier announced his candidacy in July and was the first person to enter the race after sitting MP Robert Sopuck announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election.
Sopuck has represented the riding since 2010 after winning in a byelection and was re-elected in both 2011 and 2015.
The Conservative party’s regional organizer for Manitoba and Kenora, Gus Nelson, said he could not release the results of the vote, but noted that more than 650 members participated in the election to select Mazier as the candidate for the electoral district association.
With the next federal election expected to take place a year from now, Mazier said one of the main issues he wants to focus on until then is both cellphone and internet connectivity.
"What I can’t get over, the cellphone companies charge us for this coverage that we’re supposed to have and yet we don’t have it, and that’s a problem in rural Manitoba — in rural Canada — and I think this is a time (where) it needs to be addressed at the federal level," he said.
Mazier also used the example of Hamiota — which has connected residents to the internet as part of a co-op with the Municipality of Yellowhead, Prairie View Municipality and Park West School Division — and said in order to bring businesses into communities, they need to be able to communicate by modern-day means.
Another issue Mazier said he will be looking at is rural crime and public safety, specifically in finding ways to address backlogs in the justice system and help the courts and rural police forces uphold "the law of the land."
Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Larry Maguire is holding town halls on rural crime this week, with meetings already having taken place in Pilot Mound and Virden. Town halls are scheduled for today in Killarney, Thursday in Melita and Sunday in Souris.
"We’re coming up against new challenges and I think it’s time to really step up and really address that," Mazier said. "There’s a lot of discussion that’s needed around public safety and how we want to do this."
Mazier said with Riding Mountain National Park right in the middle of the district, he would also work with regional MLAs, reeves and mayors on managing it.
"I do want to work closer with all layers of government, so they know what Ottawa is working on and we know what we’re supposed to be doing here," he said.
Born and raised near Forrest, Mazier worked for Brandon’s Simplot fertilizer plant — now owned by Koch — and MNP as an agricultural adviser.
A biography posted on Mazier’s website says he served as KAP president from 2015 to 2018, after spending four years as vice-president.
Prior to that, he was on the KAP board from 2001 to 2006 and is a founding member of the KAP Young Farmers Committee.
He was a western representative to the Canadian Young Farmers Forum, represented KAP on the Canadian Federation of Agriculture board and has participated in several lobby days on Parliament Hill.
He also served as a board member for the Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association, the Mid Assiniboine Conservation District, the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative, and was a founding member of the Elton Energy Co-operative.
He is also a former trustee for the Rolling River School Division.
Mazier and his wife Leigh have a farm near Justice and are parents to two grown children.
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