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Winnipeg Votes 2006
Winnipeg Votes 2006

 Main > Mayoral Race > Kaj Hasselriis
Voting Date: October 25, 2006  

Mayoral Race

Kaj Hasselriis

Kaj Hasselriis  
Kaj Hasselriis feels the leap from being a CBC journalist to throwing his hat in the mayor's race was a natural progression, saying he wanted "to be able to make the news" and not just write it.

Hasselriis, 32, was only 14 when he participated in his first political campaign, shortly after he started writing for the newspaper at St. James Collegiate high school.

He says his passion for politics is what allowed him to excel as a journalist.

Quick Check - Kaj Hasselriis"While I totally enjoyed my time as a staff journalist at CBC here in Winnipeg, I also felt frustrated that I couldn't get directly involved in political issues the way I wanted to," says Hasselriis.

"That is one of the key reasons I left my position at CBC. I wanted to be able to make the news, not just write the news."

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Hasselriis graduated with a sociology degree from the University of Manitoba in 1995.

In 1997, he earned a journalism degree at Ryerson University and worked as a reporter for CBC Television until 2002.

Soon after Sam Katz was elected mayor in 2004, Hasselriis led a grassroots movement to try to save the city's rapid transit bus system.

He held the first meeting in his kitchen in September 2004 and in less than three weeks more than 6,000 signatures were stuffed through his mailbox.

"So many people caught wind of the petition, downloaded it or photocopied it from other people," says Hasselriis.

One of his top priorities as a mayoral candidate is a "21st century transit plan" that also includes improving and expanding cycling paths, improving transportation for the elderly and disabled, and creating more pedestrian-friendly spaces.

Hasselriis says his entire campaign is based on building Winnipeg into more of a safe, modern city.

His plan of action focuses on enhancing existing neighbourhoods like the downtown core, where too many residents feel that their neighbourhoods are neglected, says Hasselriis.

He believes that investment in communities will improve public safety by populating the streets and broadening Winnipeg's economic environment.

"Only when we have more people living down here will Winnipeggers start feeling safer on the streets because then you have more grocery stores, pizza joints, entertainment options, and clothing stores to liven up the place and make it a better destination."

Telephone: 204.952.1840
E-mail: campaign@kaj.ca
Website: www.kaj.ca

Candidate profile by Jack Rach, a journalism major in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.