Kelvin Goertzen

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The Honourable
Kelvin Goertzen
MLA
Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living
Assumed office
May 3, 2016
Premier Brian Pallister
Preceded by Sharon Blady
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for Steinbach
Assumed office
June 3, 2003
Preceded by Jim Penner
Personal details
Born Steinbach, Manitoba
Political party Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba
Alma mater University of Manitoba

Kelvin Goertzen, MLA (born June 12, 1969) is a Canadian politician and member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, currently serving as the Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living. He was first elected in the 2003 provincial election, and was re-elected in the 2007, 2011, and most recently in 2016.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Kelvin Goertzen was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba but was raised in Steinbach, Manitoba. He attended public school in Steinbach and graduated high school from the Steinbach Regional Secondary School in June 1987. Goertzen obtained a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Economics, a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Law each from the University of Manitoba. While attending Robson Hall law school at the University of Manitoba, Goertzen was awarded more than a dozen academic prizes and was the schools top student during his second year of law studies.

Community involvement[edit]

Goertzen served for two years as the Vice-President of the Steinbach Arts Council and served as Vice-President of the Southeast Helping Hands Food Bank in Steinbach for seven years. He has been involved as a participant and fundraiser in a number of community related causes including the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum and the Steinbach Association for Community Living. He is a member of the South East Rotary Club.

In June 2007, Goertzen was awarded the "HOPE" medal by the Lions Club Foundation of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario for his community service work helping those less fortunate in Manitoba. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of community service by Governor General of Canada David Johnson.

Political involvement[edit]

Goertzen became involved in political activities while attending high school, serving as an early organizer for the Reform Party of Canada. In 1995, Goertzen was hired as an intern at the Manitoba Legislature serving with the Progressive Conservative Caucus. Following the internship, he served in the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship and subsequently worked as an Executive Assistant to MLAs Jim Penner and Albert Driedger. Following the 2000 federal election, Goertzen also worked as an advisor to Provencher Member of Parliament Vic Toews and was a key local organizer for Toews in the 2000, 2004 and 2006 federal elections. In 2003, he participated in a public protest against the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada.

Prior to seeking elected office himself, Goertzen also served as the President of the Steinbach Progressive Conservative Association, as a Regional Director on the Board of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party and as a member of the Management Committee of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party.

Elected office[edit]

One week prior to the calling of the 2003 provincial election, Steinbach MLA Jim Penner announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and would not be seeking re-election.[2] After the election was called a short nomination process occurred. Some critics suggested Goertzen's service as local association President gave him an advantage in the short nomination time frame. The sudden events had no impact on the election result, however. Steinbach is an extremely safe seat for the Progressive Conservatives, and Goertzen was elected with over 74% of its popular vote, despite the poor showing of PC candidates elsewhere in the province. Goertzen became the youngest MLA ever elected in the Steinbach Constituency (age 33) as well as the first Manitoba Legislative Intern to be elected to the Manitoba Legislature.

After his election to the Manitoba Legislature, Goertzen was appointed his Party's Chief Justice Critic and in 2005 was also appointed Deputy House Leader. As Justice Critic, Goertzen has called for increased police resources, stronger laws against organized crime, electronic monitoring of sex offenders and a drug treatment court to assist individuals addicted to drugs and alcohol. In 2005-2006, Goertzen held a series of informational meetings across Manitoba about Crystal Meth and lobbied for new legislation to allow parents of drug addicted teenagers to place their children in drug treatment. The NDP government accepted that suggestion and legislation was passed June 13, 2006.

Goertzen was a strong supporter of Manitoba P.C. Leader Stuart Murray and refused to participate in internal Caucus dissent that ultimately led to the end of Murray's leadership in November 2005.

Goertzen was among the first MLAs to endorse the provincial PC leadership campaign of Hugh McFadyen who eventually won the leadership. McFadyen reappointed Goertzen as Justice Critic after his leadership election and also appointed him the Progressive Conservative House Leader. Goertzen was again nominated the provincial PC candidate for Steinbach on September 8, 2006. On May 22, 2007 Goertzen was re-elected in the Steinbach Constituency with 83% of the vote, the largest Progressive Conservative victory in the history of the riding.

In February 2010, Goertzen was named Deputy Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba. On October 4, 2011, Goertzen was re-elected in the Steinbach constituency by another larger majority, although the PC's once again lost the election to the NDP. With the resignation of McFayden as party leader after the election, there has been some speculation in the local media that Goertzen may be a candidate for the position.

Following the 2011 election and selection of Brian Pallister as leader of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party, Goertzen was again appointed House Leader and Justice Critic for the PC Caucus. In 2013 he led a filibuster in the Manitoba Legislature to protest the increase of the provincial sales tax (PST) by the NDP government.

Despite widespread media speculation, he declined to run for the Conservative Party of Canada in the federal riding of Provencher in 2013 following the resignation of MP Vic Toews.

Following the Progessive Conservative victory in the 2016 provincial election, newly-elected premier Brian Pallister named Goertzen as a member of the new cabinet, assigning him the office of Health, Seniors and Active Living.[3]

Personal[edit]

Goertzen married his wife Kimberley (Hiebert) in 1997. They live in Steinbach and have one son.

Goertzen has published several articles related to law and politics including in the Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law (Volume 3- 2003) and Underneath the Golden Boy (Volume 3-2004). In November 2006, he published a book on the life of Jim Penner, his predecessor in the Legislature, entitled A Life Well Lived: The Story of Jim Penner and Penner Foods (National Library of Canada ISBN 0-9781405-0-8).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MLA Biographies - Living". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. 
  2. ^ "There's A New Book In Town - Steinbachonline.com". Steinbachonline.com. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  3. ^ "A look at the men and women who make up Manitoba's new Tory cabinet". Brandon Sun. May 3, 2016. 

External links[edit]