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This article was published 2/2/2016 (2093 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Local broadcaster, indigenous advocate and author Wab Kinew will run for the NDP in Fort Rouge in the provincial election.
His candidacy was announced on Feb. 2 in the packed lobby of the Gas Station Arts Centre.
Kinew, who is currently employed by the University of Winnipeg as associate vice-president of indigenous affairs, is well known for his broadcast work with CBC on the Canada Reads program and 8th Fire, as well as his critically acclaimed book, The Reason You Walk.
Current NDP MLA for Fort Rouge and former Minister of Finance, Jennifer Howard, announced at the end of January that she would not be seeking re-election. This is the first time Kinew has put his name forward as a candidate for public office.
The motivation to run for office with the NDP stemmed from proposed cuts to jobs, wages, and investment from other parties, Kinew said.
"As I was on the sidelines, thinking about how this election was shaping up, I noticed that the worst and second-worst options I just described to you are the platforms of the PCs and the provincial Liberal party," Kinew said.
"I believe that the steady hand, the experience and leadership shown by the premier and his commitment to continue investing in infrastructure which will create jobs right here in Manitoba is the approach that we need, and is one of the main reasons I am choosing to jump into the race at this time."
Other candidates in Fort Rouge include Progressive Conservative candidate Audrey Gordon and Manitoba Liberal Party leader Rana Bokhari.
Kinew would not confirm whether the Liberals had asked him to run for them. Instead, he commented that he has friends in the Liberal party, but the NDP is most closely aligned with his values. Bokhari declined to comment at length about Kinew’s candidacy with the NDP.
"I like Wab Kinew, but residents of Fort Rouge know a vote for Wab is a vote for Greg Selinger," Bokhari said in a statement.
Premier Greg Selinger said Kinew’s involvement with the NDP is a sign renewal is happening in the party.
"Some people have said that (Kinew’s) candidacy is a game changer, and I think it is," Selinger said. "But the mission remains the same — the mission remains, how do we make life better for all Manitobans."
The provincial election is scheduled for April 19.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.