January 19, 2020

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Most diverse legislature ever elected in province

Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press</p><p>Union Station NDP candidate Uzoma Asagwara watches as Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew concedes defeat.</p>

Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press

Union Station NDP candidate Uzoma Asagwara watches as Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew concedes defeat.

When the 42nd Manitoba Legislature opens in the coming weeks, it will be historic.

With the first black MLAs — as well as the greatest number of visible minorities — headed to work at Broadway, Manitobans have elected their most diverse legislature in the province’s history.

Uzoma Asagwara, who is black and queer, will represent the NDP in the Winnipeg riding of Union Station.

"Running in this election had a lot to do with the fact I never saw myself in the television shows I watched, in the books I read," Asagwara said at NDP campaign headquarters Tuesday.

"Somewhere there is a child who doesn’t believe all the identities they possess didn’t exist as an adult in this world and that’s unacceptable."

Asagwara won’t be the only black MLA at the legislature when the next session opens.

Manitobans also elected the NDP’s Jamie Moses in St. Vital.

Moses upset Progressive Conservative incumbent Colleen Mayer, who goes from being a member of Premier Brian Pallister’s cabinet to being out of a job.

"I am thrilled because having a diverse community to go to the Legislature is important. That’s a really important step and I am looking forward to being with them at the Legislature," Moses said.

The Progressive Conservatives also had their first black MLA elected Tuesday. Audrey Gordon will represent the party in Winnipeg’s Southdale riding.

Gordon defeated NDP candidate Karen Myshkowsky in the race, taking home more than 4,300 votes in her victory.

Tuesday’s election represented the most diverse set of candidates Manitoba has ever seen in a provincial election.

Both the PCs and the NDP ran their highest number of Indigenous candidates ever.

In addition, the three major parties all nominated Indo-Canadian candidates in two ridings in northwest Winnipeg.

— with files from Dean Pritchard and Kevin Rollason


Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

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