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June 15, 2019

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Meeting of the minds

AYO Politix bringing prospective MPs out to speak on issues

Winnipeg Centre candidate Don Woodstock (Green) took part in the AYO Politix brainstorming session at the University of Winnipeg on Sept. 28. AYO Politix organizers Lenard Monkman (left) and Michael Redhead Champagne (centre).

PHOTO BY JARED STORY

Winnipeg Centre candidate Don Woodstock (Green) took part in the AYO Politix brainstorming session at the University of Winnipeg on Sept. 28. AYO Politix organizers Lenard Monkman (left) and Michael Redhead Champagne (centre).

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/10/2015 (1348 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Go ahead, talk politics at the dinner table.

AYO Politix, a division of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO), hosts a political brainstorming brunch at Neechi Commons every Saturday at noon. The conversation, open to anybody and everybody, covers issues important to the indigenous community and to the North End.

“We do it as a way to build political literacy amongst people of the North End or people of the indigenous community, and the non-indigenous community as well,” said Lenard Monkman, 30, who helps organize and facilitate the AYO Politix brainstorm.

Talking politics has proved so popular that AYO Politix has added a second session at The Hive in the University of Winnipeg. Brainstorming starts up every Monday at 12:30 p.m.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/10/2015 (1348 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Go ahead, talk politics at the dinner table.

AYO Politix, a division of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO), hosts a political brainstorming brunch at Neechi Commons every Saturday at noon. The conversation, open to anybody and everybody, covers issues important to the indigenous community and to the North End.

"We do it as a way to build political literacy amongst people of the North End or people of the indigenous community, and the non-indigenous community as well," said Lenard Monkman, 30, who helps organize and facilitate the AYO Politix brainstorm.

Talking politics has proved so popular that AYO Politix has added a second session at The Hive in the University of Winnipeg. Brainstorming starts up every Monday at 12:30 p.m.

AYO Politix was created by AYO founder Michael Redhead Champagne in 2010 as way to discuss the 2010 civic election with the community, as well as the candidates.

Leading up to the Oct. 19 federal election, the AYO Politix brain storm has included  Winnipeg North candidates Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal), Levy Abad (NDP) and John Redekopp (Green) and Winnipeg Centre candidates Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Liberal) and Don Woodstock (Green).

The Times attended the brainstorm with Woodstock on Sept. 28 at the U of W. Participants weren’t afraid to ask Woodstock tough questions like why he switched from Liberal to Green. Woodstock was a Liberal candidate for Minto in the 2011 provincial election.

"Bill C-51," said Woodstock without hesitation, before launching into why he doesn’t like the Liberals’ support of the anti-terrorism bill.

Another tough question asked was if Woodstock were to win Winnipeg Centre and the Conservatives won a minority government, would he support a coalition between the Liberals, NDP and Greens?

"They (the Liberals and NDP) would have to come to the table with guaranteed livable income, otherwise I would be the first independent Green member of the House," Woodstock said.
Brainstorm participant Riel Willmott responded to Woodstock’s answer with "And drop B C-51?"
"You better believe it," Woodstock replied.

The brainstorm participants seemed pretty pleased with Woodstock’s candidness during the session.
Lindsay Howes, who lives and works in Winnipeg Centre, has participated in past brainstorming sessions. Howes is Métis, but said her reason for attending the AYO Politix brainstorming sessions isn’t so much her own lineage but her support for those that are vulnerable and marginalized.  

"I think it’s important that everybody stands together with (indigenous people) because they are valuable members of our community," Howes said.

"We have a high population of indigenous people who live in this area, so of course these issues really matter. Things like Bill C-51 that affect one group over another, positively or negatively, are not OK."
Monkman, however, won’t say what election candidates he was pleased or dissatisfied with.

"Obviously we have some of our own views, but we don’t endorse anyone or affiliate ourselves with any one party," Monkman said.

"It doesn’t matter what government gets in, we’ll still be at Neechi talking about the same things."

To learn about AYO Politix and its brain storming sessions, got to www.facebook.com/AYOPolitix or www.politixbs.wordpress.com

Jared Story

Jared Story
Community journalist — The Times

Jared Story is the community journalist for The Times. Email him at jared.story@canstarnews.com Call him at 204-697-7206

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