Manitoba's NDP Chooses Wab Kinew as New Leader

Manitoba's NDP Chooses Wab Kinew as New Leader

Manitoba's New Democratic Party has elected Wab Kinew as its new leader.

Kinew beat out three-time leadership candidate and former MLA Steve Ashton 728 votes to 253 at the party's leadership convention in Winnipeg on Saturday.

"It's a new day for the NDP and it's a new day for Manitoba," Kinew declared in his acceptance speech.

"[I will do] the very important work of uniting the Manitoba NDP."

A total of 1,032 delegates from across the province came to Winnipeg for the leadership convention at RBC Convention Centre.

Kinew said the past few years have been challenging for the NDP but praised members for coming back together to support the party and oppose PC policies.

"There is a place for you in this party and I will be your leader as well," he told those who voted for Ashton.

Kinew was a high-profile candidate and rookie MLA, first elected in 2016. The former CBC broadcaster is an author, rapper and Indigenous-rights activist.

But Kinew has been surrounded by controversy ever since he launched his first political campaign last year.

During that campaign, he apologized for misogynistic and homophobic song lyrics he wrote as a rapper. Shortly after that, tweets he had sent years earlier making fun of gays, lesbians, First Nations children and overweight women came to light.

This week, Kinew's ex-partner came forward saying he threw her across a room in 2003, leaving her with rug burn on her legs. Domestic assault charges were laid but later stayed by the Crown, and Kinew denies the allegations.

 

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