‘Feels really really good’: Three Manitobans make history as first black MLAs

Three soon to be members of Manitoba’s Legislative Assembly have entered the history books.

Audrey Gordon, the PC MLA elect for Southdale, Uzoma Asagwara the NDP MLA elect for Union Station, and Jamie Moses, the NDP MLA elect for St. Vital are the first black Manitobans to win seats in Manitoba’s Legislative Assembly.

“It feels really, really good,” said Gordon from her campaign office Wednesday.

“This was the time. It was the right time and the timing was perfect,” she said. “I know that it will be an opening for other people from the community to become involved in politics.”

Gordon, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Manitoba as a child will be a member of Premier Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservative Party government.

Also making history is the NDP’s Uzoma Asagwara, who won Union Station a constituency that includes Winnipeg’s downtown.

Asagwara said her victory is a sign people are making sure elected officials reflect the communities they serve.

“It’s great to be a part of history. We’re excited, I’m excited about the opportunities ahead of us to do this work in a very good way,” she told CTV News after her win on election night.

Voters also ushered in the NDP’s Jamie Moses in St. Vital. He said electing Manitoba’s first black MLAs means Manitoba can be represented more completely.

“I’m happy to represent a community that hasn’t had representation at the legislature before, and I’m excited that maybe it will be bring some new ideas,” he said.

Tuesday night Pallister and the Progressive Conservative Party won a second mandate and a second majority. The New Democratic Party will sit in opposition. 

Christopher Adams is a political analyst based at St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba.

He said there has been a lag with what’s happening in the assembly and society

“Now finally the assembly is starting to catch up,” he said Wednesday. 

“It took a long time for the assembly to have women elected, and we still need to see proper equality. It’s been a lag in terms of Indigenous people being elected to the assembly, we now see people regularly elected from Métis communities and other First Nations communities.”