Uzoma Asagwara Makes History as Manitoba’s First Black Deputy Premier and Health Minister
Uzoma Asagwara has once again made history, this time as the new Deputy Premier and Health Minister of Manitoba. This marks her second term as an MLA and continues her remarkable journey of breaking down barriers in the province. In 2019, Uzoma Asagwara, along with two other Black MLAs, achieved a historic victory by securing seats in the Manitoba Legislature. This milestone marked the first time in the province’s 150-year history that Black individuals were elected to the Manitoba Legislature. The trio consisted of Uzoma Asagwara, who won the Union Station seat for the NDP, Jamie Moses, who secured the St. Vital seat for the same party, and Audrey Gordon, who claimed victory in Southdale for the Progressive Conservatives. This achievement is especially significant in a province with a rich but sometimes challenging history of inclusivity and representation.
As Deputy Premier, Uzoma Asagwara’s responsibilities extend beyond healthcare, as she also takes on the role of Health Minister, overseeing matters related to seniors and long-term care. This dual role underscores the critical importance of healthcare in the province and reaffirms her commitment to ensuring that all Manitobans receive the care and attention they deserve.
Before entering politics, Uzoma Asagwara had already established herself as a community advocate, psychiatric nurse, and addictions specialist. Her diverse background includes a notable career as a former basketball player for the University of Winnipeg and the Canadian National Basketball team, showcasing her lifelong dedication to excellence and perseverance.
Premier Wab Kinew, who was officially sworn in as Manitoba’s 25th premier, and the province’s 1st First Nations premier, is leading the province with a vision for a brighter future. The swearing-in ceremony was a vibrant and tradition-filled event, underscoring the significance of the moment. Wab Kinew took his oath of office while wearing a ceremonial First Nations headdress at The Leaf in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park. In his address to the people, he spoke of a new day for Manitoba, a new era where the government is wholly committed to putting the people of Manitoba first.
As Premier, Wab Kinew introduced his new cabinet during the ceremony. The cabinet, a blend of seasoned MLAs and newcomers, symbolizes a diverse and inclusive approach to governance that mirrors the province’s demographic tapestry. One of the key members of this cabinet is Uzoma Asagwara, whose appointment as Deputy Premier and Health Minister carries profound significance.
In this story of political progress, Jamie Moses also plays a significant role. Elected as the NDP MLA for St. Vital in 2019, he brought his dedication to the legislature. Jamie Moses served as the official opposition critic for advanced education and training. As an MLA, he played a pivotal role in passing legislation to recognize Emancipation Day in Manitoba and to establish anti-racism training for provincial employees.
Moreover, Jamie Moses is a tireless advocate for safer sports and is deeply passionate about helping young people reach their full potential.
Here is the complete list of cabinet ministers who will form the executive council of Manitoba:
- Wab Kinew (MLA for Fort Rouge) – Premier, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and International Relations, and Minister Responsible for Indigenous Reconciliation.
- Uzoma Asagwara (MLA for Union Station) – Deputy Premier, Minister of Health, Seniors, and Long-Term Care.
- Ron Kostyshyn (MLA for Dauphin) – Minister of Agriculture.
- Matt Wiebe (MLA for Concordia) – Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Keeper of the Great Seal of the Province of Manitoba, and Minister Responsible for the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation.
- Nahanni Fontaine (MLA for St. Johns) – Minister of Families, Minister Responsible for Accessibility, and Minister Responsible for Gender Equity.
- Bernadette Smith (MLA for Point Douglas) – Minister of Housing, Addictions, and Homelessness, and Minister Responsible for Mental Health.
- Nello Altomare (MLA for Transcona) – Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning.
- Ian Bushie (MLA for Keewatinook) – Minister of Municipal and Northern Relations, and Minister of Indigenous Economic Development.
- Malaya Marcelino (MLA for Notre Dame) – Minister of Labour and Immigration, and Minister Responsible for the Workers Compensation Board.
- Jamie Moses (MLA for St. Vital) – Minister of Economic Development, Investment, Trade, and Natural Resources.
- Lisa Naylor (MLA for Wolseley) – Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Minister of Consumer Protection and Government Services.
- Adrien Sala (MLA for St. James) – Minister of Finance, Minister Responsible for the Public Utilities Board, Minister Responsible for Manitoba Hydro, and Minister Responsible for the Manitoba Public Service.
- Renée Cable (MLA for Southdale) – Minister of Advanced Education and Training.
- Tracy Schmidt (MLA for Rossmere) – Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Minister Responsible for Efficiency Manitoba.
- Glen Simard (MLA for Brandon East) – Minister of Sport, Culture, Heritage, and Tourism, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, and Minister Responsible for the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation.