‘Steinbach is well known for its generosity but its diversity is still a bit of a secret’: 5 Questions with Kelvin Goertzen

Kelvin Goertzen is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, currently serving as Minister of Health, Seniors, and Active Living. He was first elected as MLA for the Steinbach electoral district in 2003.

  1.  What is your earliest political memory?
    • My family wasn’t involved in politics but I developed an interest in it at a pretty young age. One of the earlier memories I have is during the 1980’s and Prime Minister Mulroney was in Manitoba (I think it may have been at the Mennonite Museum?). I wanted to see him so I went with some friends to where he was supposed to be speaking but we were late getting there and the event was over. I saw the back of his head getting onto a large tour bus. That was as close as I ever got to Mr. Mulroney.
  2. What is one thing you wish Winnipeggers understood about Steinbach?
    • Just how incredibly diverse the community is. People are always surprised when I tell them about the large Filipino population for example. There is still an image many people have of Steinbach of it being a very small community made up of families all with Mennonite last names (like mine!). Steinbach is well known for its generosity but its diversity is still a bit of a secret.
  3. What is your most memorable moment in the Manitoba Legislature?
    • After the last election Cabinet was sworn in at the Canadian Human Rights Museum. We went directly from there to our first Cabinet meeting and then went to our respective offices. I sat in my new office, the office of the Minister of Health, and really felt the weight of it. Suddenly you are accountable for a $6 billion department and a whole lot of important decisions. It was almost overwhelming.
  4. Apart from yourself, which Steinbach resident do you think would make a good provincial Premier?
    • Gilbert Fehr. There is a guy who just loves being a part of every good cause and uses all of his God given abilities to their absolute fullest. Also I should mention that my predecessor Jim Penner would have made a great Premier. He was capable, likeable, and had integrity. Three great qualities for leadership.
  5. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers haven’t won a Grey Cup since 1990. Anything you can do about this?
    • I’m thinking of passing a law that would ensure the Bombers start every game with a 20 point lead! But other than that, it’s above my pay grade. But my wife and son and I go to a lot of games and cheer as loud as we can for them to win. That’s probably as much as any of us can do.