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Ben Carr hoping to follow in his late father Jim Carr’s footsteps

By MYRON LOVE Ben Carr, the son of the late Jim Carr, has thrown his hat into the ring to become the next Liberal Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.
And, he is well aware that he has big shoes to fill. The riding became vacant with the passing of his father, Jim Carr, on December 12, at the age of 71. Jim Carr had been a Liberal MP since 2016, during which time he served in several Cabinet positions. Jim’s resumé also featured time as an MLA, a member of the editorial board of the Free Press, executive director of external relations for the University of Winnipeg, and founding president and CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba – just to list the highlights.
Ben Carr’s own record of achievement to date is also quite impressive. Early in his career, Ben was Brand Coordinator for the United Nations Association in Canada (Manitoba), and a research associate at the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg.
As an educator, he has been a teacher at both Robert H. Smith Elementary School’s French immersion program and at Kelvin High School (his alma mater) – where he was also the head coach of the Kelvin Clippers JV football team. In more recent years, he has served as a principal in the Seven Oak School Division, most recently as principal of the nationally award-winning Maples Met High School.
He is currently the Vice-President of Indigenous Strategy Alliance.
This would be Carr’s second attempt to win political office. Three years ago, he campaigned for a seat as a trustee for the Winnipeg School Board’s Ward 3. He notes the election was cancelled due to the Covid lockdowns.
Now, Ben Carr is no political neophyte. As he pointed out on his webpage, “the Liberal Party of Canada has always been a place where I have felt at home. It has been a second family to me for over 30 years. Early on, he served as president of the Young Liberals of Canada (Manitoba branch).
He has also had an extensive career behind the scenes in politics, including serving as Manitoba campaign manager for former Federal Liberal Party leadership aspirants Scott Brison and Bob Rae, Parliamentary Assistant to Reg Alcock, and Director of Parliamentary Affairs in Ottawa under former Minister of Cultural Heritage Melanie Joly. He had also been a part of his father’s campaign team as a senior adviser.
“I couldn’t have had a better mentor politically or in life,” he says of his father. “I learned from him the importance of building relationships, really listening to what people have to say and trying to understand what is important to people. I also learned to think carefully before speaking.”
Although Carr did not receive a formal Jewish education growing up, he notes that his Jewish identity was strengthened by experiences such as being part of the first all-Jewish group of Grade 9 students to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington under the auspices of the Asper Foundation, and later going on Birthright to Auschwitz and Israel.
“Fighting anti-Semitism is very important to me – both here at home and abroad,” he comments.
Also important to Carr is working toward reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. – and human rights in general.
“My whole life has been about working to make a difference right here in this community – one that has given me so much,” he notes on his website. “I see this by-election as an opportunity to further my contributions.”

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