Federal Politics: Niki Ashton Running For Leadership Of The Federal NDP

By on April 11, 2017
Niki Ashton portraits

My friend Niki Ashton is running for the leadership of the Federal NDP. I have listed some information from her web page.
This is her web page http://www.nikiashton2017.ca/

A Message From Niki Ashton:
I am running because I believe we need a clear vision. We need fundamental change. We need to build the NDP as a movement for social, environmental, and economic justice.
The way forward for the NDP is clear. We must work tirelessly for true reconciliation with Indigenous people, for the protection and preservation of our environment, for working Canadians, for women, for people living with disabilities, for racial justice, for Trans* justice, for LGBTQ justice, and for the right to be who you are, and to love who you want to love. We must build a political movement that connects with the many Indigenous, racialized, student, environmental and labour movements that are driving progressive political change. We must move ahead with a positive agenda that tackles rising inequality and climate change. We must build a movement that has the strength of the people at its core. We must unite, and build people-centred policy as our foundation. As a party, we need to embrace the thousands of activists across this country who have paved the way for our movement. Their fight is our fight, and together, we are stronger.

I want people to know that we are in their corner, with every decision we make. I want Canadians to feel at home in the NDP because they see themselves reflected in the values and principles we fight for every single day.

It is time to be bold.
It is time to create the Canada we know is possible — we must accept nothing less.
It is time to address inequality in a real way, with real action.
I know we can do this.
I know that together, we can build a movement.
Our strength is in our unity, and our ability to inspire one another. Together, we must build a movement for social, economic, and environmental justice.

Niki Ashton wants to:

Take bold action to tackle the inequality created by a system that favours the rich.
Create a Jobs strategy that opposes unfair trade deals, invests in urban and rural development, and expands housing, green, and social infrastructure.
Commit to justice reform, by challenging current incarceration systems that disproportionately target racialized and Indigenous populations.
Fight for racial, gender, trans*, and LGBTQ justice.
Respect Indigenous rights and establish real reconciliation.
Establish universal childcare.
Establish a student debt forgiveness strategy and commit to tuition-free post-secondary education.
Expand public healthcare to include pharmacare, dental care, and access to mental health services.
Champion electoral reform and true proportional representation.
Increase public ownership and invest in renewable energy and green jobs to work towards a carbon-free economy.
Refuse to accept precarious work as the new normal.
Oppose pipelines that violate Indigenous rights and threaten our environment.
Ensure that Canada is a voice for peace in the world.
Create a just immigration system that provides sanctuary for those fleeing war and persecution and ends the exploitation of migrant workers.

Niki Ashton has a lifelong commitment to progressive politics.

Hailing from Thompson, Manitoba, she was raised by immigrants who worked tirelessly for social, economic, and environmental justice. Niki’s dad Steve was a student activist who was elected MLA in Manitoba off a Steelworker picket line before Niki was born. Her mom Hari was a feminist activist and was on the executive of the National Action Committee on the status of Women.
At the age of 22, she challenged the sitting NDP MP for her home riding of Churchill for their seat in 2005. Her inspiration was rooted in her passion for equality and justice. When her MP voted against the Civil Marriage Act – legislation that legalized same-sex marriage across the country – Niki took action, and successfully secured the nomination. While she didn’t win the election she succeeded in showing the strong support for human rights in her region. At the age of 26 she ran again and was elected MP and has been reelected twice. She was recognized as best constituency MP by Maclean’s magazine as selected by her colleagues in 2012.

Niki has been a key member of the New Democrat Caucus in Parliament, having served as critic for Aboriginal Affairs, Status of Women, Post-Secondary Education and Youth, and most recently, as the critic for Jobs, Employment and Workforce Development.

Hailing from the north, Niki has long been a fierce champion for better living conditions for Northern and Indigenous peoples, and is proud to represent communities and organizations that fight tirelessly for a more progressive Canada. She’s proud to support the labour movement and its struggles in support of working people. She is an activist, loud and proud, standing up for the rights of those facing inequality in Canada and around the world.

Niki is a graduate of R.D.Parker Collegiate in Thompson. She received a bachelors degree in Global Political Economy from the University of Manitoba with a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Carleton University. She is completing her PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba; her thesis is on Millennial Feminism.

Niki is proud of her multicultural roots and is multilingual. She is fluent in Greek, her first language, as well as English, French and Spanish. She has studied Cree, Ukrainian, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Turkish.

Niki understands the unique challenges facing both youth and women. She is known for proudly rocking a No DAPL t-shirt and listening to Beyoncé. She is often found on the front lines of protests and rallies calling for action from government on issues ranging from racial discrimination to women’s rights, the environment to electoral reform.
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Niki has made a difference. As the critic for Post-Secondary Education and Youth (2008-2011) she tabled the Canada Post-Secondary Education Act, which would guarantee accountable, stable federal transfers for post-secondary education, and enshrine the principles of accessible and quality education for all Canadian students. In the last parliament, she tabled a motion to create National Action Plan to address violence against women, including the establishment of a national public inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls – an inquiry later brought in by the Liberal government. Most recently, in her role as the critic for Jobs, Employment and Workforce Development, Niki launched a national consultation tour on the emerging crisis of precarious work, which culminated in a comprehensive Call to Action being presented to the Liberal government on behalf of Canadians, demanding equality, good jobs, and better access to the social safety net.

Niki was inspired by the 2016 campaign of US Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who challenged the status quo and spoke up as a voice of hope for a future to believe in.

Niki is a proud Northerner and Manitoban. She lives in Thompson, and is dedicated to building a fairer Canada, from coast to coast to coast.

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