Progressive Conservative candidate Ralph Eichler is seeking a fifth consecutive term as MLA for Lakeside.
A former cattle producer and secretary-treasurer for the Interlake School Division, he carried on a tradition of Tory MLAs for Lakeside after first being elected in 2003, replacing 34-year incumbent Harry Enns. After the PCs formed government in 2016, Eichler was named Minister of Agriculture, where he remained just before the writ was dropped.
The current owner of Ray’s Auction Service, Eichler volunteers with local community organizations and lives in Teulon with his wife Gail. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Stonewall Argus: What has inspired you to run for Member of the Legislative Assembly?
Ralph Eichler: Since forming government in 2016, we’ve had the opportunity to make some real good changes for Manitobans and I feel that if I’m re-elected and able to serve the people of Lakeside, hopefully we can make Lakeside even better. I’m very pleased with where we are, but certainly, I’ve got a lot more things I like to do.
SA: How do you feel you can make a difference for your local community?
RE: With the boundary changes, we have some new communities that I’m not very familiar with, but certainly, I’ll get to know them; they’ll get to know me. It’s an opportunity; it’s a challenge. My health is good and I feel I’m in a good position to help the folks of Lakeside.
SA: What aspect of your party’s platform do you admire most in order to make a difference locally and for all residents of Manitoba?
RE: Healthcare’s the number one issue in all of Manitoba. Our healthcare here’s a mess and we’re attempting to fix it. We’ve got a lot done, we’ve lowered our wait times, we’ve got some pushback but certainly it’s the right thing to do, but we have more to do. But we also have to be mindful of the fact that we can’t keep throwing money at the same issue. We have to dissect what’s wrong and find solutions and ensure we have the care for our families, the young and the old, but still live within our means financially.
SA: What is the number one issue in your mind for Lakeside and the
RE: The number one issue is healthcare, without a doubt. In order to do it and provide services, getting the right care at the right time at the right place and still be sustainable, while getting our finances in order at the same time, it’s going to be complex, but certainly we feel we’re up to the challenge.