I chose to stand for leader of the Manitoba NDP because I am motivated by the core values we share as New Democrats. Values like love, equality, and social justice.
Those values are realized when we have an economy that works for everyone, with more and better jobs. When you know the public services your family counts on will be there when you need them. When hard-working families can afford a good quality of life. When everyone has the opportunity and the support to realize their ambitions. And when we respect and protect our environment for future generations.
We know Brian Pallister does not share our values. Our job now is to hold him to account, and to offer a realistic alternative for Manitobans.
I have already started to introduce some of my ideas for Manitoba, including a commitment to a $15 / hour living wage.In the weeks and months ahead I will announce the other elements of my comprehensive policy program.
I am thrilled to be able to have this conversation with fellow New Democrats, and then with all Manitobans, about what we want our province to look like in the future.
I was born in northwestern Ontario and moved with my parents to Winnipeg when I was young. I am married to an amazing woman – Lisa, who is a family doctor – and I am an active dad to two very active kids. We love Manitoba and are passionate about giving back to this place. I coach hockey. Lisa and I are both involved with our community as activists and volunteers. In short, my family is a pretty regular Manitoba family.
After studying Economics at the University of Manitoba, I made my living as an author, a musician, a broadcaster, and a university administrator. I was an honorary witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had. Most importantly, last year I was given the honour of representing the people of Fort Rouge in the Manitoba legislature.
I first got involved in politics because I wanted to help regular families get the services and supports they need to be healthy and happy. Because I want everyone in Manitoba to have opportunities like the ones I had, no matter which community they come from or how much money their family has. And most of all, because I want to help make Manitoba an even better province for my kids and for yours.
When I hear about a young person who got in trouble with the law, who is told every day he has nothing to contribute, I think: I was you.
When I hear parents worried about making ends meet while they work hard to provide for their kids and take care of their ageing parents, I think: I am you.
And when I think of an elder, nearing the end of their journey, maybe sick, maybe confused, but comforted by the presence of family and the compassion of caregivers, I think: someday, I will be you.
I am so proud to be a member of a party that looks like Manitoba in all its inclusivity, and that represents Manitoba values. With your support, I know I can lead the renewal of our party, build a team that will offer Manitobans a progressive alternative to Brian Pallister and help bring about a brighter day for people in our province.
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