Stratford actor Kevin Kruchkywich has been acclaimed as the federal NDP candidate for Perth-Wellington.
An actor by trade for around 25 years, Kruchkywhich said he was motivated to put this hat in the political ring by the societal inequalities he saw exposed during the pandemic.
"This pandemic has really galvanized in me a feeling that I want to be of service and I want be a part of making some changes to a system that I think is not serving the average person," he said. "My belief is that the NDP has the kind of compassion first approach that none of the other parties have."
More affordable housing, a living wage for all, and universal pharmacare are key measures Kruchkywhich said are needed to "level that playing field a little bit so everyone can just try to make a go of it in an honest way."
"I just don't think that's possible with the system we're working with," he continued.
"The middle class is disappearing very quickly and we're becoming just a society of haves and have-nots. I think that's become crystal clear during the pandemic."
Access to affordable housing is a major issue across the county, but in particular "here in Perth-Wellington I think things have gotten really out of whack," Kruchkywhich said. "It's become impossible even to find rental properties, never mind scraping together enough money to buy an overpriced home."
Kruchkywhich works primarily in theatre, including at the Stratford Festival and Drayton Entertainment. Although his background on the stage may make him a bit of an outlier among political hopefuls, aside from being comfortable communicating with people, Kruchkywhich said it has other advantages as well.
"I think actors are closer aligned with tradespeople and factory workers," he said. "I know it sounds like a strange thing, but actors are tradespeople."
Kruchkywhich said he understands its necessary for lawyers and career politicians to be involved in politics.
"But I think there's also need and a place for working class politicians who still have a connection with people who are struggling," he said.
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com