Posted on September 12, 2019

Trio of Black MLAs Make History by Winning Seats in Manitoba Legislature

Dana Hatherly, CBC News, September 10, 2019

Until Tuesday’s vote, no black person had ever been elected to the Manitoba Legislature in the 150-year history of this province.

Now there are three.

Uzoma Asagwara won the Union Station seat for the NDP, Jamie Moses took the St. Vital seat for the party and Audrey Gordon won Southdale for the Progressive Conservatives.

None of the political scientists the CBC contacted, nor the parties themselves, could recall a black MLA [Member of the Legislative Assembly] ever being elected in Manitoba.


Asagwara, a first-generation Canadian whose parents are Nigerian, has worked as a psychiatric nurse and is a longtime community activist in Winnipeg’s core.

The first black Winnipeg city councillor said he was happy for the thousands of immigrants and refugees who may feel like they now see themselves represented in the Manitoba Legislature.


Moses said the addition of more diverse elected representatives is a positive change.


In Southdale, Gordon became the third black MLA elected Tuesday night, in a race that was close until the final votes were tallied. She was born in Jamaica and has spent most of her life in Winnipeg.

Tuesday’s provincial election saw a more diverse set of candidates than past years, with the PCs and NDP nominating the largest number of Indigenous candidates in recent history and all three of the largest parties nominating Indo-Canadian candidates in two northwest Winnipeg ridings.

Among the candidates for the province’s 57 seats, the Liberals ran 14 people of colour this year, the NDP 18 and the Tories six. {snip}

All three major parties also ran Indo-Canadian candidates in the Winnipeg ridings of Burrows and The Maples — believed to be another first in Manitoba provincial politics.

The New Democrats ran 10 Indigenous candidates, while the PCs and Liberals each nominated seven Indigenous candidates.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak kicked off a “get out the vote” drive in late August. The political advocacy group, which represents 21 First Nations in Manitoba, encouraged Indigenous people to mark a ballot in both Tuesday’s provincial election and the upcoming federal election.