KEYSTONE PARTY: Manitoba’s new right-wing political party ‘closer to the middle’, says leader

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The leader of an upstart political party in Manitoba says that although the party sits politically to the right of the current PC government, they don’t believe anyone should label them far-right or far-right.

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“In my mind, we’re right-wing and conservative, but we’re closer to the middle,” said Kevin Friesen, the interim leader of the new Keystone Party of Manitoba.

“Yes, we think we’re right about the Tories, but that’s because we think they’ve gone so far to the left.”

Friesen, a Manitou resident and longtime agricultural producer, is the interim leader of the newly formed Keystone Party of Manitoba and said the newly formed organization is working to collect the minimum 2,500 signatures needed to register. with Elections Manitoba and hopes to field candidates in the 2023 provincial election.

In an interview with the Winnipeg Sun on Wednesday, Friesen said the party was building a platform that would promote the “personal freedoms” of Manitobans, but which he said would put the power back in the hands of voters and leave less power behind. in the hands of elected officials.

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“What we’re really going to be is a real people’s party, where the members really have the power,” he said.

“It’s about working for the members, not the power of the leader or the acting leader, the members have to have a say because right now in government decisions are made at the level of management and we don’t think it’s working.”

Regarding current COVID-19 health orders and vaccination mandates in that province, Friesen said that because of his belief in “personal freedom,” he believes some of the current mandates have gone too far.

“Because we are a party that will stand up for freedom and stand up for the freedom of Manitobans, we will stand up for people’s rights because we believe there have been violations here,” Friesen said.

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“We think it’s an overreach on the government’s part with some of the things that have happened.”

According to Friesen, the party would also run on a promise to be fiscally responsible and ensure the government does not spend more money than it receives.

“It will be a guiding principle for us to be fiscally responsible and to focus on fiscal responsibility,” he said.

“You have to match what you spend with what comes in, it’s as simple as that. Decisions have to be made about where to spend the money because we don’t want our children and grandchildren to go into deep debt.

Friesen was also asked about the party’s stance on immigration and said he is personally pro-immigration and believes newcomers make this country a better place.

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“Our steering committee has spoken to people from all walks of life and we’ve spoken to a lot of people who have immigrated here and immigration is a great way to grow this province,” Friesen said.

“This province is far from full, we have plenty of room for expansion here.”

Friesen said he was confident the party could meet and surpass the minimum 2,500 signatures it needed to register, and he said he believed the party could “make waves” in the next few months. provincial elections.

“The idea here is that we think the leadership in this province has really been lacking in recent years and we think that a people’s party led by someone who knows they are working for the people, will be something 100% different,” says Friesen.

“This party was created to make a difference and to be a factor in the next election.”

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter with the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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