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Meet the 13 rookie MLAs elected in Manitoba
Manitobans voted in 13 rookie MLAs into the legislature on Sept. 11 2019. (File image)
Manitobans have voted in 13 rookie MLAs into the legislature, including 11 NDP and two PCs.
The newly elected politicians come from diverse backgrounds, with several making history on Tuesday’s election night.
Meet the politicians set to serve Manitobans for the next four years:
The Maples: Mintu Sandhu (NDP)
While The Maples remains an NDP riding, it will be represented by a fresh face to Manitoba Legislature -- Mintu Sandhu.
Sandhu has lived in The Maples since immigrating to Canada in 1989, according to his online riding profile. He owned and operated his own business for over 18 years and served on Manitoba infrastructure’s motor transportation board.
Up until being elected as MLA, Sandhu worked as the general manager of Unicity Taxi.
Union Station: Uzoma Asagwara (NDP)
Uzoma Asagwara is the new NDP MLA for Union Station, a new riding in Winnipeg stretching from The Forks to the West End.
Asagwara is an addictions specialist, psychiatric nurse, and mental health advocate, who has lived in the area for nearly two decades.
According to her online riding profile, Asagwara serves on the board for Women’s Health Clinic and the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art.
With a passion for sports, Asagwara has a history playing high-level basketball, including with the University of Winnipeg Wesmen. She now mentors youth athletes.
Asagwara is the first black queer MLA in the province.
Southdale: Audrey Gordon (PC)
Audrey Gordon has been elected as MLA for the constituency of Southdale.
The incumbent PC candidate competed in a tight race, winning by just over 500 votes.
Audrey has over 25 years of public sector service experience with the Manitoba government and holds an MBA and bachelor of arts from the University of Manitoba , according to her riding profile.
She also helps out at her local soccer club and church, and several health and education boards.
Gordon is among the first black MLAs in the province’s history.
Borderland: Josh Guenter (PC)
Josh Guenter has become the first MLA to represent the newly established Borderland riding.
The 25-year-old PC MLA beat four other candidates, including former Emerson MLA Cliff Graydon, who was kicked out of PC caucus after allegedly making inappropriate comments.
Guenter lives in the area with his wife and son. He studied at the University of Ottawa and the University of Winnipeg. He also had a hand in a number of previous elections and worked on Parliament Hill.
The MLA has said he will work to lower taxes and improve infrastructure investments.
Notre Dame: Malaya Marcelino (NDP)
NDP Malaya Marcelino took the riding of Notre Dame, located in west central Winnipeg.
She is the daughter of Flor Marcelino -- the former Manitoba minister of culture, heritage and tourism, and interim leader of the NDP.
Marcelino is a mother to two young kids, who works in communications for an agribusiness firm, according to her online riding profile.
Marcelino is also completing her master's in political studies at the U of M.
Wolseley: Lisa Naylor (NDP)
NDP Lisa Naylor beat out Green Party candidate David Nickarz for the seat in Wolseley, which was left without an incumbent when Rob Altemeyer chose not to run for re-election.
According to her online riding profile, Naylor is a feminist activist who started out her career working with vulnerable youth in Toronto, before moving to Winnipeg to work as a counsellor and health educator at the Women’s Health Clinic.
Naylor has lived in Wolseley with her family for two decades, representing the area as the Winnipeg School Division Ward 4 trustee since 2014.
She is an advocate for reproductive health, LGBTQ rights and other social issues.
St. Vital: Jamie Moses (NDP)
Jamie Moses won the seat in the new constituency of St. Vital, unseating incumbent PC Colleen Mayer.
The long-time St. Vital resident serves on the boards of community local organizations and has coached basketball for a decade.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from the University of Manitoba.
He is one of the first black MLAs in the province’s history.
Fort Garry: Mark Wasyliw (NDP)
Mark Wasyliw will represent the new riding of Fort Gary for the NDP.
The lawyer, school trustee and father of three holds a master’s degree in both in political science and criminal law. He’s been a commissioner for the Residential Tenancies Branch since 2009.
Wasyliw has served as a school trustee for the Winnipeg School Division since 2011, where he helped create Manitoba’s first bilingual Spanish program, according to his online riding profile.
In his spare time, Wasyliw volunteers with his local parent advisory council, advocates for the wrongfully convicted, and coaches football.
Keewatinook: Ian Bushie (NDP)
A fresh face to the NDP, Ian Bushie has been elected as MLA of Keewatinook in northern Manitoba, beating out Liberal incumbent Jason Harper.
Bushie was born was born and raised in Hollow Water First Nation, where he served as Chief for four years
The father of six chairs the board for Southeast Child and Family Services, and an organization that offers culturally appropriate supports to families and children.
He has also owned and operated a gas station for 20 years.
Transcona: Nello Altomare (NDP)
NDP Nello Altomare took the Transcona seat from PC Blair Yakimoski, though it was a tight race.
A recently retired teacher and principal in the River East Transcona School Division, Altomeare and his wife are the parents of two children.
Altomare, the son of Italian immigrant parents, completed his post-graduate studies in educational administration at the University of Manitoba.
Altomare is a lifelong resident in the area and the father of two children.
Thompson: Danielle Adams (NDP)
Danielle Adams won the seat in Thompson by a large margin, ousting incumbent PC candidate Kelly Bindle.
Adams serves on several boards in the constituency and gained political experience in MP Niki Ashton’s constituency office.
An online riding profile describes Adams as a long-time NDP activist who supports feminism and is an ally with Indigenous people, newcomers and LGBTQ people.
She grew up in Thompson, where she is now raising a family.
Burrows: Diljeet Brar (NDP)
Diljeet Brar is joining the NDP’s slate of rookies after being elected MLA for the Burrows riding.
Before immigrating to Canada, Brar completed a master’s in education and taught at the Agricultural University in India. Brar also worked as a journalist and TV presenter.
After settling with his family in Winnipeg, Brar began working at the Manitoba Department of Agriculture. Up until the election, Brar was the executive director of the Bulla Arts International Development School for Kids.
Brar has been living in Amber Trails with his family since 2014.
St. James: Adrien Sala (NDP)
NDP candidate-elect Adrien Sala has unseated incumbent PC Michelle Richard in St. James.
Sala worked in the province’s department of housing and community development before pursuing a career in finance at the Assiniboine Credit Union, according to his online riding profile.
After graduating from business school at the U o M, Sala spent years working with community-based programs working to prevent crime in the inner city and help vulnerable youth find work.
Sala, his wife and their two daughters have lived in St. James for the past eight years.