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Manitoba elects first First Nations premier in Canada as NDP (social democrats) sweep to majority

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Manitoba's New Democratic Party rode to a resounding victory Tuesday night on the back of long-simmering frustration and anger with the province's Progressive Conservatives — something the governing party couldn't shake, even with a new face at the helm.


Excellent result, and great news. The NDP have been on the downswing generally since their 2011 rise to Official Opposition federally, largely due to the death of their popular federal leader, Jack Layton, to cancer. Now Canada has two NDP governments (Manitoba and BC), hopefully that increases in the future.



Wab Kinew, an Anishinaabe politician who leads the New Democratic Party, will replace the conservative Heather Stefanson as Manitoba’s leader.



“I was given a second chance in life,” Mr. Kinew said during his victory speech, referring to his past problems with addiction. “And I would like to think that I have made good on that opportunity.”


Several of Canada’s most prominent Indigenous public and political figures have come from Manitoba, and its capital, Winnipeg, has the largest Indigenous population of any Canadian city. During the campaign, Mr. Kinew rarely emphasized Indigenous issues, focusing largely on broader concerns, like access to health care.


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