‘I live in the real world, I’ll bring that to politics’


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photo by Kate Jackman-Atkinson
Dougald Lamont is running for the leadership of the provincial Liberal Party.

By Kate Jackman-Atkinson
The Neepawa Banner
Dougald Lamont has a vision for the province’s future and the Winnipeg-based small business owner has been hitting the highways and byways to share his message.  Lamont is one of three candidates vying to lead the provincial Liberal Party and he stopped in Neepawa on Aug. 24.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Lamont is married with four kids, aged seven to 15. After a career working in advertising and communications, he opened his own public relations consulting company.  Much of his work was in government communication and he has drawn on that experience to teach government/business relations at the University of Winnipeg. While working in government communications, Lamont worked for a variety of departments, including Infrastructure and Indian and Northern Affairs.
While Lamont has never held office, he has had lots of experience with the election process. “I’ve worked on lots of campaigns, one a year for the last 15 years,” he explains. These have been at all levels of government and while most of the candidates have represented the federal or provincial Liberal parties, he explained that his mayoral campaign for Robert-Falcon Ouellette was truly non-partisan in nature.
Lamont is focusing his campaign on the idea of inclusive government.  He explains that many voters complain that politicians seem to care more about getting elected than getting something done.  He added that they tend to neglect those who don’t vote for them, or don’t vote at all. “We need to govern for everyone, I mean literally everyone,” he said. “We want to provide the people of Manitoba with an option,” he added, noting, “I think people are looking for an alternative [to the NPD and PC parties]”.
Lamont’s family had a farm in Rossburn and he has spent a lot of time travelling to the area. He explains that his visits to small communities left a lasting impression about the difference a single person can make to a community. While he hasn’t yet released an official platform, Lamont noted the that education and making Manitoba known as a place to get good jobs are a focus of his. He added that they will be releasing a platform this fall.
In his bid for the party’s leadership, Lamont is facing two current MLAs,  Cindy Lamoureux and Jon Gerrard. He explains that while he isn’t an elected representative, he brings experience outside of politics, “I live in the real world, and I’ll bring that into politics.”
Overall, Lamont is hoping to reach out to the those who feel left out of the larger parties. As he and his team head towards the Oct. 21 convention, when the party’s membership will decide the new leader, he said the campaign is going well. “We’re working hard, member by member, meeting by meeting,” said Lamont.