Lloyd Axworthy's Letter to Wab


I began my political career in an era when leaders like Lester Pearson, Duff Roblin and Stanley Knowles made policy and civility the essential characteristics of our political system. Today, in contrast, extreme partisanship, personal attacks, and non-accountability are the order of the day.  

You’ve effectively dealt with the negative campaign against you personally by saying its your past that is the reason you’re running.  

That's why I believe its important to openly share a past experience when we worked together at the University of Winnipeg for several years. Your contribution in helping provide improved opportunity for inner-city students to come to university, engaging with the local community and cooperating with the private sector on educational programs that brought knowledge of Indigenous culture and history to a broader public made a major difference in the lives of many people.   

We were both inspired by the wisdom and energy of your father Tobasonakwut Kinew, who as a teacher and member of the UW Indigenous Advisory Circle helped spearhead the university’s efforts to be a positive force in the downtown community and incorporate Indigenous culture and history into our educational offerings. As a Director for Indigenous Inclusion you were responsible for the implementation of  innovative initiatives that enabled inner-city young men and women to attain academic success and job-ready training. Throughout, you provided leadership and unfailing commitment to the cause of bettering the lives of many Manitobans, young and old.  

At a time when the task of restoring Winnipeg’s downtown, offering good educational and career chances for our youth, working cooperatively with community groups, business, the academy, and tackling inequality of services, housing, health and employment is paramount, your experience is a strength.  

You well know my own political affiliation is Liberal and will continue to be so. I write to you in a spirit of non-partisanship and making common cause for the well-being of the province in the belief that you can provide a caring, conscientious governance.