Niki Ashton

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Niki Ashton
MP, BA, MA
Niki Ashton 2012-02-12.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Churchill
Incumbent
Assumed office
November 18, 2008
Preceded by Tina Keeper
Personal details
Born Niki Christina Ashton
(1982-09-09) September 9, 1982 (age 32)
Thompson, Manitoba
Political party New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Ryan Barker
Residence Thompson, Manitoba
Alma mater University of Manitoba
Carleton University
Profession University lecturer, researcher

Niki Christina Ashton (born September 9, 1982) is a Canadian politician. She is the New Democratic Member of Parliament for the electoral district of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada. She was first elected in the 2008 federal election.

A resident of Thompson, Manitoba, she is the daughter of Manitoba provincial NDP cabinet minister Steve Ashton. She has been an instructor at the University College of the North.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Ashton was born in Thompson and attended École Riverside School and R. D. Parker Collegiate. She later attended the Li Po Chun United World College in Hong Kong. She has a B.A in Global Political Economy from the University of Manitoba, an M.A in International Affairs from Carleton University and is currently in the process of completing her PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Art Mauro Centre at the University of Manitoba.

Later, she was a coordinator and promoter of volunteering at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. At the event, she assisted the team from China.

She has studied human rights in Canada, and was awarded the Ahmed Ali Hashi Human Rights Scholarship for her work.

Ashton speaks Greek, French, English and Spanish fluently. In 2011 it was reported that she was also studying Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish, and Cree.[2]

Ashton married Ryan Barker in August 2011 in Alexandroupoli, Greece, her mother's hometown.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Ashton in 2012.

In 2005, she defeated incumbent New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Bev Desjarlais for the NDP nomination due, in part, to the same-sex marriage issue after Desjarlais broke party ranks to vote against the Civil Marriage Act. Desjarlais subsequently quit the party and sat as an independent for the remainder of her term; she ran against Ashton as an independent candidate in the election in the Churchill riding in the 2006 Canadian federal election.[5] Ashton's major themes in her campaign included getting federal funding for the University College of the North, as well as getting a federal government northern development agreement.

Although the labour unions in Thompson endorsed Ashton,[6] the NDP vote nevertheless split between Ashton and Desjarlais, and the riding was won by Liberal Party candidate Tina Keeper.[7]

Ashton defeated Keeper in the 2008 election to regain the riding for the NDP.

In 2011 Ashton received the support of American documentary film maker Michael Moore[8] in her fight to prevent the closing of Brazilian mining company Vale's smelter and refinery in Thompson, Manitoba. Vale, which owned the refinery after it took over Canadian company Inco, had earlier received a $1 billion unsecured loan from the Harper Government, and under the Investment Canada Act signed a contractual agreement with the federal government. A media investigation found that Vale broke this agreement, but as of May 2011 the government has yet to file punitive action against Vale.[9]

On November 7, 2011, in Montreal, Niki Ashton launched her campaign as the ninth person to join the NDP leadership race.[10] She placed seventh with 5.7% of the vote at the March 24, 2012 leadership election and was eliminated on the first ballot.

Ashton said that a retreat for the NDP party is a chance for the party to regroup and plan its agenda for the fall, including a focus on issues such as environmental regulations and fighting a private members' bill dealing with abortion.[11]

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Niki Ashton 10,262 51.1% +3.34%
Conservative Wally Daudrich 5,256 26.2% +5.7%
Liberal Sydney Garrioch 4,087 20.4% -8.34%
Green Alberteen Spence 471 2.3% -0.99%
Total valid votes/Expense limit 20,076 100.00% -
Total rejected ballots 107
Turnout 20,183
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
New Democratic Niki Ashton 8,735 47.4%
Liberal Tina Keeper 5,313 28.83%
Conservative Wally Daudrich 3,774 20.48%
Green Saara Harvie 606 3.29%
Total valid votes 18,428 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout  %
     NDP gain from Liberal Swing
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Tina Keeper 10,159 40.67% +2.32% $75,179
New Democratic Niki Ashton 7,103 28.44% -14.99% $70,290
Independent Bev Desjarlais 4,283 17.15% -26.28% $23,042
Conservative Nazir Ahmad 2,886 11.55% -3.57% $23,875
Green Jeff Fountain 401 1.61% -1.41% $2,837
Independent Brad Bodnar 146 0.58% $68.69
Total valid votes 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout 24,978 55.53%
     Liberal gain from NDP Swing +8.7

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Niki Ashton". Niki Ashton. New Democratic Party. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Smith, Joanna (November 7, 2011). "Niki Ashton joins NDP leadership race". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ Taber, Jane (October 28, 2011). "For Churchill MP, scrapping Canadian Wheat Board is a big fat headache". Toronto: The Globe & Mail. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Senators’ home cooking and a no-fuss wedding". Maclean's. September 12, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Churchill MP quits NDP after nomination loss". CBC News. October 18, 2005. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ "NDP Candidate Niki Ashton Backed by Unions". Manitoba Federation of Labour. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Canada Votes 2006 - Candidates & Ridings - 216 Churchill". CBC News. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ Barker, John (February 25, 2011). "Michael Moore delivers the goods for Niki Ashton". Thompson Citizen (Glacier Media Group). Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ Ashton, Niki (February 25, 2011). "It Was Flint Yesterday, It's Us and Wisconsin Today, and Tomorrow It's Going to Be Everyone". Mike & Friends Blog. Michael Moore. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Niki Ashton vows 'new politics' in NDP leadership bid". CBC News. November 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ Rabson, Mia. "The Winnipeg Free Press - NDP says retreat first step in toppling Harper St. John's caucus meeting to focus on life after Layton as Parliament looms". The Winnipeg Free Press. The Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]