Leah Gazan is the NDP candidate for Winnipeg Centre in this fall’s federal election. As an an educator, advisor, and media contributor, Gazan has been deeply engaged with issues and organizing in Winnipeg’s core for nearly three decades. In a riding bounded by the Assiniboine and Red rivers, and encompassing downtown to Ferry Road, Gazan’s breadth of knowledge and experience throughout Winnipeg Centre riding makes her a candidate residents can trust.
“Our growing crime rates, the meth crisis, housing challenges, and increasing poverty are a big problem for us in Winnipeg Centre. This is what happens when you neglect the basic human rights of peoples for far too long. It is time that Winnipeg Centre has a leader that will listen to the community with all its knowledge and wisdom, stop stalling and act immediately to ensure all residents can realize their rights to joy. I wish to be that leader."
Leah Gazan has spent her life working for human rights on the local, national, and international stage. Her recent success includes organizing and traveling across the country to push Bill C-262, the Indigenous Human Rights Act. Passed by the House of Commons in 2018, the act is to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Her contributions in Winnipeg have both shaped our understanding of our collective struggles and strengths, and helped move us towards justice. As president of the Social Planning Council between 2011- 2015, Gazan organized and pushed policy in support of an end to poverty, addressing violence against women and girls, finding solutions for housing insecurity and homelessness, ensuring fair wages, community based actions addressing addictions, and proper supports for mental health. In this role and others, Gazan has worked across communities, in solidarity with labour, communities of colour, disability rights advocates, Indigenous communities, youth and 2SLGBTQ organizers. Serving on the Board of Governors of Red River College, Gazan focused her attention on prioritizing access to education and ensuring students had the proper supports they required to achieve success.
Gazan was a prominent Winnipeg lead during Idle No More, articulating the movement to the Winnipeg public. Her educational work has made special impact in the Winnipeg Mennonite community where she has worked to support dialogue emphasizing education, responsibility, and action towards reconciliation. Gazan also cofounded the #WeCare campaign aimed at building public will to end violence against Indigenous women and girls.
Gazan is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory.