Niki Christina Ashton MP (born September 9, 1982) is a Canadian politician. She is the New Democratic Member of Parliament for the federal electoral district of Churchill—Keewatinook Aski in Manitoba, Canada. She was first elected in the 2008 federal election. Ashton announced her intention to run for the leadership of the federal NDP on March 7, 2017.
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski
|Assumed office |
October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Riding Established|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
October 14, 2008 – October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Tina Keeper|
|Succeeded by||Riding Abolished|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on|
Status of Women
June 21, 2011 – November 14, 2011
|Preceded by||Hedy Fry|
|Succeeded by||Irene Mathyssen|
Niki Christina Ashton
September 9, 1982
Thompson, Manitoba, Canada
|Political party||New Democratic Party|
Ryan Barker (m. 2011–2017)
|Domestic partner||Bruce Moncur|
|Occupation||University lecturer, researcher|
Ashton was born in Thompson, Manitoba. She is the daughter of Hariklia Dimitrakopoulou and former Manitoba provincial NDP cabinet minister Steve Ashton. Her father is English-born, and her mother is of Greek descent. Ashton has one younger brother, Alexander. She 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. She has been an instructor at the University College of the North.
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. 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.
Ashton defeated Keeper in the 2008 election to regain the riding for the NDP.
On November 7, 2011, in Montreal, Ashton launched her campaign as the ninth person to join the 2012 NDP leadership race. At the age of 29, she was the youngest of the candidates. She placed seventh with 5.7% of the vote at the March 24, 2012 leadership election and was eliminated on the first ballot.
Since first being elected in 2008, Ashton was elected as the Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women in the 40th Parliament of Canada, as has served as the NDP Post-Secondary and Youth critic, as the Rural and Community Development critic and from 2012 to 2014 as the Status of Women Critic. On January 23, 2015, Ashton was appointed as the Aboriginal Affairs Critic in Canada's Official Opposition.
Ashton announced her candidacy for the 2017 NDP leadership election on March 7, 2017. She placed third in the October 1, 2017 election, with 17.4% of the vote, just over 1,000 votes behind runner up Charlie Angus. Jagmeet Singh was elected leader on the first ballot.
During the 2017 New Democratic Party leadership election Ashton ran on a platform including:
- A focus on plans to create and maintain good-paying jobs for young people and working Canadians, and tackle the threat of climate change.
- A commitment to providing tuition-free post-secondary education.
- Advocating combatting the unequal distribution of wealth, the loss of value-added jobs, the "foreign ownership and trade deals that are selling us out".
During the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis Ashton tweeted the following "PM Trudeau sides with [U.S. President Donald] Trump's regime change agenda and Brazil's fascist President in support of someone calling for a military coup in Venezuela," Ashton said on Twitter.
"No! We cannot support an agenda of economic or military coups. #HandsOffVenezuela.
Ashton married Ryan Barker in 2011. They separated in 2015 and divorced in 2017.
In May 2017, Ashton announced that she was pregnant. She gave birth to twin boys in November 2017. She has stated that "Like millions of Canadian women I will carry on my work", and continued with her leadership campaign.
|2015 Canadian federal election: Churchill—Keewatinook Aski|
|New Democratic||Niki Ashton||13,487||45.04||-6.66||–|
|Conservative||Kyle G. Mirecki||3,090||10.32||-15.81||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||29,944||100.0||$232,138.03|
|Total rejected ballots||252||–||–|
|New Democratic hold||Swing||-14.4%|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2011 Canadian federal election: Churchill|
|New Democratic||Niki Ashton||10,262||51.1%||+3.34%||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||20,076||100.00%||-|
|Total rejected ballots||107||–|
|New Democratic hold||Swing||-1.18%|
|2008 Canadian federal election: Churchill|
|New Democratic||Niki Ashton||8,735||47.40%||+18.96%|
|Total valid votes||18,428||100.00%|
|Total rejected ballots||–|
|New Democratic gain from Liberal||Swing||+15.4%|
|2006 Canadian federal election: Churchill|
|New Democratic||Niki Ashton||7,103||28.44%||-14.99%||$70,290|
|Total valid votes||–||100.00%|
|Total rejected ballots||–|
|Liberal gain from New Democratic||Swing||+8.66%|
- Harris, Kathleen (March 7, 2017). "Niki Ashton launches NDP leadership bid with pledge to fight inequality, injustice". CBC News. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- Stone, Laura (March 24, 2012). "Niki Ashton". Toronto Star. p. A26.
- "Centre for Security and Defence Studies - Annual Report 2004-05" (PDF). Carleton University. Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. April 1, 2005. p. 20. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- "About Niki Ashton". Niki Ashton. New Democratic Party. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- "Niki Ashton - Faculty of Public Affairs". Carleton University. May 18, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- "Beyond Politics - Niki Ashton". CPAC.
- "Churchill MP quits NDP after nomination loss". CBC News. October 18, 2005. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- "NDP Candidate Niki Ashton Backed by Unions". Manitoba Federation of Labour. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- "Canada Votes 2006 - Candidates & Ridings - 216 Churchill". CBC News. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- "Niki Ashton vows 'new politics' in NDP leadership bid". CBC News. November 7, 2011.
- "NIKI ASHTON NAMED CRITIC FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS". January 23, 2014.
- Kirkup, Kristy (12 November 2015). "Tom Mulcair taps Nathan Cullen, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron for top critic roles". CBC News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
- Ballingall, Alex (March 7, 2017). "Manitoba's Niki Ashton launches NDP leadership bid". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
- Ballingball, Alex (1 October 2017). "Jagmeet Singh wins the NDP leadership race". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- Who’s running for the NDP leadership? Read the list of candidates so far Archived May 20, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. The Globe and Mail. Last updated July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- Rabson, Mia (March 1, 2017). "Ashton poised to announce NDP leadership candidacy next week". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- EXCLUSIVE: Meet Niki Ashton, the progressive politician trying to bring Bernie Sanders’ movement to Canada. The Tab. Author - James Kelly. Published April 3, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
- ‘It is unique, but it shouldn’t be,’ Ashton talks about being pregnant while running for federal NDP leadership race. The Hill Times. Author - Samantha Wright Allen. Published June 7, 2017. Trtieved December 3, 2018.
- "Registry Search Results - Ashton, Niki C vs Barker, Ryan G." Manitoba Justice. February 1, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- "Niki Ashton Has Twin Boys". La Pas Online. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "Niki Ashton says she's pregnant, pressing on with NDP leadership bid". CBC News. May 29, 2017.
- Ballingall, Alex (May 29, 2017). "NDP leadership contender Niki Ashton announces she's pregnant". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates