My Life as an MLA
I am humbled to have had the opportunity to serve the people of my community for the past 21 years. I walk into the legislature every day with the same enthusiasm to serve my constituents as I did when I was first elected.
What caused me to seek elected office in the first place was my strong desire to make a difference. At that point I’d had a rewarding career as a nurse. I was a neurosciences nurse then worked in Continuing Education in the surgical specialties at the St. Boniface General Hospital. I taught nurses how to care for patients with head injuries, ruptured aneurysms, and spinal cord injuries. I designed educational material and worked on quality assurance programs. I worked with a partner to design a charting system to capture critical thinking skills of nurses. I was involved in medical and nursing research. This is all to say that I really loved being a nurse. Later, I became the executive director of Child Find Manitoba. Both of these careers were challenging and rewarding.
What inspired me to enter politics was my desire to make a difference in a new way. Working as a legislator to help improve people’s lives is what inspired me to run in 1998 and what has driven me to run for re-election every time since. I knew that working at the Manitoba legislature for my constituents would be an incredibly rewarding experience.
I am proud and humbled that I have had the rare success of five private member’s bills (PMBs) passed while in opposition. One was to establish the Nellie McClung Foundation, a foundation on which I am still a board member. This foundation worked to establish a monument on the Manitoba Legislative Building grounds that honours Nellie McClung and the Famous Five. Another bill called for annual accreditation of mammography machines. Later, I put forward the Liquor Control Amendment Act which allowed people to take their drinks with them into the washroom rather than having to leave them unattended in a public place. This legislation was intended to help prevent date rape. Another of my PMBs was one creating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Finally, the Centennial of Manitoba Women’s Right to Vote Act ensured that the 100 years since Manitoba became the first province to grant most women the right to vote would be properly acknowledged.
I am honoured to be able to serve the constituents of Charleswood everyday. Check out my website to read more about what I’ve been up to at www.myrnadriedger.com