Hasselriis is a lifelong Winnipegger and earned a sociology degree from the University of Manitoba in 1995 as well as a journalism degree from Toronto's Ryerson University in 1997. From 1997 to 2002, Hasselriis worked as a reporter and producer for CBC Television. Most recently, Hasselriis created an English-language monthly in Lima, Peru called Limazine.
As a political organizer, Hasselriis served as the Manitoba campaign manager for Jack Layton's leadership bid in 2002. He also played a key role as a member of Toronto mayor David Miller's 2003 campaign team.
In 2004, Hasselriis gained prominence in Winnipeg by leading the fight to keep Winnipeg's bus rapid transit system. The city eventually cancelled the program, to the dismay of public transit activists.
On July 17, 2006 Hasselriis declared his candidacy in the October 2006 municipal elections against Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz. His campaign was endorsed by several prominent figures in the city, including musician John K. Samson and activist James Beddome.
On election day, October 25, 2006, Hasselriis received 22,401 votes, or 13.22 of the total count. He placed third to Katz, who was re-elected, and Marianne Cerilli, a former NDP MLA in the Manitoba Legislature.
Hasselriis, who is openly gay, was the national spokesperson for Canadians for Equal Marriage in 2006. He was appointed interim executive director of Egale Canada in January 2007, following the resignation of Gilles Marchildon, and served in that capacity until he was succeeded by Helen Kennedy in the fall.
He currently contributes to the Xtra! chain of LGBT newspapers as a Winnipeg-area reporter. He also wrote a series of travel essays on gay life in India while travelling in that country over the winter of 2008-2009 for both Xtra! and its gay travel magazine The Guide. As well, he is an occasional contributor to CBC Radio, including Definitely Not the Opera.
|Candidate||Total votes||% of total votes|
|Total valid votes||169,452||100.00|
- "Mayoral Race". CBC. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
- "Mayoral Race: Kaj Hasselriis". CBC.ca. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- "Mayoral Race, Final Results". CBC.ca. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- Marchildon, Gilles (2006-08-17). "The queering of municipal politics". Egale Canada. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- "Third Anniversary of Equal Marriage - over 10,000 married same-sex couples". Canadians for Equal Marriage. 2006-06-09. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- McCann, Marcus (2007-01-03). "Egale appoints interim ED". Xtra West. Retrieved 2007-08-11.