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Getting to Know the Candidates: Trevor Kirczenow, Liberal Party

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Trevor Kirczenow Liberal Crop
Trevor Kirczenow is running in Provencher for the Liberal Party.

Canadians from coast to coast will be going to the polls on September 20 to elect a new federal government. Here in Provencher, five candidates have been announced so far. To help you make a decision ahead of election day, The Citizen has reached out to the candidates. Let’s get to know them.

Kirczenow, 36, lives with his husband and two kids on their small farm near Dugald. He has an honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and is a professional musician, having performed full-time with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

On their farm, the family raises goats, turkeys, and chickens. Kirczenow is currently the breed registrar for the Ojibwe Horse Society, a national not-for-profit which aims to preserve Canada’s only Indigenous-developed horse breed.

After the births of their children, Kirczenow initiated and led a research study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research about the experiences of transgender parents with pregnancy, birth, and infant feeding. He is also the author of Where’s the Mother? Stories From a Transgender Dad.

Kirczenow is also an author and advocate for diabetes awareness.

“I led a health research study that looked at the experiences of transgender people with building their families,” says Kirczenow. “I’ve authored academic articles and a memoir, and this past year I’ve been involved in a successful grassroots diabetes campaign that pushed the provincial government to improve coverage for life-saving diabetes supplies.”

Campaign Plans

Kirczenow says he plans to knock on doors in the Niverville area, while maintaining safety protocols.

“I wear a mask and I knock, but then step more than six feet away to keep the social distance,” he says.

He says that voters can go online (https://event.liberal.ca/en/events) to find out about planned door-knocking events near them. All they have to do is enter their postal code.

Voters can also find out more about him by visiting his website, www.trevor-liberal.ca, or by tracking him down on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tiktok.

Kirczenow plans to take part in a public debate organized by the Steinbach Chamber of Commerce. The live, broadcast-only event will not include members of the public in the audience.

That said, Kirczenow says he is concerned about spending time indoors with other candidates, two of whom are either publicly confirmed as non-vaccinated or non-disclosed, given both how many touch points candidates have during campaigning, and with COVID cases rising again in southeast Manitoba.

“I am so grateful for all organizers involved. I had the opportunity to debate the Conservative representative in 2019 and I would certainly welcome it again,” says Kirczenow. “However, I have young children in my household, one of whom has diabetes, a health condition identified as high-risk if the individual contracts COVID-19. I understand there will be no indoor audience, but it is still a factor for me to consider to be indoors with the knowingly unvaccinated.”

Kirczenow recognizes that this issue is playing out among many people in society and that it affects friends and family members who have different views on vaccines.

“It’s a challenging issue facing many of us right now, for sure,” he says. “For the health of an individual in my care who is high-risk and ineligible for a vaccine right now, I must make decisions very carefully.”

Goals and Values: Environment, Childcare, and Healthcare

As the Liberal Party candidate, Kirczenow’s goal is to represent the diverse voices in Provencher as best he can.

One of the top issues for him is climate change and making adjustments to our economy by adopting environmental best practices. He feels the Liberal government has developed, and continues to develop, programs that help support corporate accountability and incentives that benefit the environment.

“I have been hearing from constituents that they are worried about our environment and climate change, and that’s a big issue for me, too. I appreciate the progress we have made in the last few years, but I want to see that continue even more quickly,” says Kirczenow. “We now have the Green Homes Grant, Agricultural Climate Solutions, and Agricultural Clean Technology programs up and running. All of these programs provide support and incentives to those who want to invest in clean energy and climate solutions, such as better insulation, new windows and doors, solar panels, planting and protecting shelterbelts, and making use of cover crops. These programs create new jobs, as well as help us tackle the climate crisis. I would like to see us do more to protect our water at the federal level through our new Canada Water Agency that is currently being developed.”

In April 2021, the Liberals introduced a plan to build a Canada-wide, community-based system of affordable early learning and childcare for an average of $10 per day. Kirczenow sees this program as essential to making a significant difference to many families, as well as those who work in childcare.

Healthcare is another top priority for Kirczenow. He takes seriously the long-term healthcare cost of COVID-19. He is also passionate about access to healthcare and the affordability of prescription medications and medical devices.

“National universal pharmacare is in the Liberal Party platform, because Canadians should have access to needed, life-saving medications, regardless of where they live or their socio-economic status,” he says. “Making this a reality will require hard work and cooperation with the provinces and territories, but we can’t afford not to do it. When someone has to make tough choices between medication and other essentials, or they simply can’t afford to take their medication, it’s harmful to the individual’s health and well-being, and it also costs our system down the road when that person ends up needing more urgent, serious care for something that could have been prevented.”

The Vaccination Question

Kirczenow is upfront about his vaccination status and is fully vaccinated. He says he is willing that everyone know his vaccination status because federal employees working with the public should be transparent.

“I am proud to say I’ve been fully vaccinated,” he says. “I think that those seeking public office have a responsibility to lead on this issue, and to set an example. We need to protect our community, especially those who are unable to be vaccinated due to age or medical fragility. I support the policy of requiring proof of vaccination in order to take part in certain types of activities. One of my children is too young to be vaccinated, but he has a medical condition that puts him at higher risk of serious complications if he were to catch COVID. We need to take care of our most vulnerable.”

For those who are vaccine-hesitant, Kirczenow recommends talking directly to a healthcare provider to ask them questions. He understands that everyone has the right to know what is being put into their body and says that for people who may contract COVID, they didn’t want to have that put into their body.

“To someone who might say, ‘But I want to have control over what goes into my body,’ it’s important to note that if you’re not vaccinated, and you catch COVID, that virus is going to go into your body, and you won’t have much control over how your body copes with the infection. You can gain some control by choosing to be vaccinated, because we know that vaccination dramatically lowers your chance of dying or experiencing serious complications from COVID.”

Hope for Local Change

Kirczenow desires to bring his energy to work for the people in Provencher.

“I am passionate about being a voice for a broad diversity of Provencher constituents in Ottawa,” he says. “I have a lot of energy, I’m a problem-solver, and I’m ready to work!”

The Conservatives have represented Provencher federally since 2000, but Kirczenow says that even though the Conservatives have held this region for a long time, there is hope for change.

“I don’t think any party should take any riding for granted, ever. The people of Provencher have a choice, and they will have their say,” says Kirczenow. “I’m working hard to reach as many voters as I can, and I have an ever-growing team of enthusiastic volunteers.”

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