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This article was published 23/1/2015 (2097 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
SHOAL LAKE — Longtime newspaper publisher Greg Nesbitt is seeking the Progressive Conservative nomination in the provincial constituency of Riding Mountain.
Riding Mountain PC MLA Leanne Rowat announced in September that she would not run again in the next provincial election, which is scheduled for April 16, 2016.
Nesbitt, 57, said he has had a lifelong interest in politics, fuelled by following the careers of local MLAs through his 38 years as a community newspaper publisher in the area.
"I have the utmost respect for the work and commitment of current MLA Leanne Rowat and previous MLAs Len Derkach, Glen Findlay, Harry Graham and Wally McKenzie to the citizens of this area," Nesbitt said.
"I realize the job of an MLA is to listen to his or her constituents and these five were among the best at understanding and looking for solutions to area issues."
On the flip side, as publisher of Crossroads This Week and the South Mountain Press, which cover an area from Russell in the west to Erickson and Onanole in the east, and from Kenton north to Riding Mountain National Park, Nesbitt has also been privy to plenty of candid conversations about what really matters to area residents and the issues faced by communities within the constituency.
"I think my career has allowed me the unique opportunity to hear what people in this constituency are really thinking — what they feel is working well and what needs improving," said Nesbitt, who is midway through a two-year term as chairman of the board of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, which represents more than 840 community newspapers across the country. He has also served two terms as president of the Manitoba Community Newspapers Association.
The timing is right, he said, to put his interest in politics and his long-standing connection to the constituency and its people into action.
"The constituents of Riding Mountain are hardworking, family people that have built this area. I have great respect and admiration for them and feel privileged to have been allowed to share their stories with readers for almost 40 years," Nesbitt said.
"I want to do my part to ensure this area continues to thrive. We have a very high quality of life and good things cost money, so we need to focus on economic development, exploring new revenue opportunities and creating good jobs for our young families. It needs to be a focus for our area and the province as a whole."
The Riding Mountain constituency, created in a boundary review prior to the 2011 provincial election, runs from the Saskatchewan border to Minnedosa, and from the boundary of Riding Mountain National Park south into the Oak River, Rivers and Rapid City areas.
No date has been set for the Riding Mountain constituency nomination meeting.
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