The NDP government is getting a boost it desperately needs heading into the provincial election.
Well-known indigenous activist and broadcaster Wab Kinew will run for the NDP in Fort Rouge.
Kinew made the announcement today in front of large crowd of NDP MLA’s and supporters at the Gas Station Theatre in Osborne Village.
Kinew says he feels the NDP and their “progressive” agenda represent the best path for the province moving forward.
“I know that this is going to be a challenge, I know that in some ways this is going to be an uphill race but I feel passionately that now is the time to try and do what I can to help make sure Manitoba continues to be a progressive place, a place where everybody can achieve.”
That sets up a battle with Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari, who is also running in Fort Rouge.
Bohkari has issued a one-line statement saying, “I like Wab Kinew, but residents of Fort Rouge know a vote for Wab is a vote for Greg Selinger.”
Selinger meanwhile calls Kinew’s candidacy a “game changer”. He says he first approached Kinew at the One Summit against racism at the Canadian Museum For Human Rights in September.
“We just chatted about future possibilities, neither one of us was pushing hard that way but the conversation started,” says Selinger. “Wab and I have known each other a long time.”
Kinew admits he had some talks with the Liberals himself but feels he fits better with the New Democrats. He says he’s not a party member and never has been.
The Fort Rouge seat was held by former NDP Finance Minister Jennifer Howard before she announced she wouldn’t seek re-election.
Also running is Audrey Gordon, representing the Progressive Conservatives.