She's a mental health counsellor who "worked with women and children living with domestic violence and who are abuse survivors."
She's a nurse who is part of a project team for STOP-GBV, "a national project looking at Gender-Based Violence in Women 55 years of age and older, and the resources that are available to support them."
She's a former teacher and domestic violence victim who threw her support behind the Conservative government's DISCLOSURE TO PROTECT AGAINST INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE ACT, an implementation of 'Clare's Law' which gives women access to information about their partners' past history of domestic violence.
She's a former school trustee who highlighted the campaign "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence" on her social media platforms. It's an annual international campaign that begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
She's another former school trustee who promoted the two months of Manitoba events of the organization Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence, whose website read:
"Breaking the silence on domestic violence also requires us to challenge silencing. Silencing survivors can take the form of negative reactions by people in positions of power to disclosures of abuse and even attempts to shut down awareness of the prevalence and impact of domestic violence in our communities."
What do these women have in common, other than working with victims, being victims or promoting help for victims of domestic violence?
They're all NDP candidates in the 2023 general election---Sarah Pinsent-Bardarson in Interlake-Gimli; Kathy Majowski in Lac du Bonnet;Bernadette Smith in Point Douglas; Lisa Naylor in Wolseley; and Jennifer Chen in Fort Richmond.
(Editors note- we originally listed Durdana Islam as a candidate in Seine River in this election; she actually was the NDP candidate in 2019. However she did support Wab Kinew- as the 2023 candidates are. A scholar from Pakistan who left an abusive relationship, her experience was used to promote the work of You Are Not Alone, a program launched last year by the Manitoba Association of Women's Shelters, which "aims to reach women experiencing domestic violence in numerous newcomer communities.")
And they're all supporting unreservedly a man accused of abusing his girlfriend, physically and mentally. That man is Wab Kinew, leader of the NDP and the man running to be the Premier of Manitoba.
His former girlfriend told her story to RCMP and he was charged with domestic assault. She said Kinew pushed her roughly to her knees, leaving her with such rug burn she could hardly walk. He pulled her around by her hair, she said, and left her fearing he would push her off the balcony of their apartment. The case tossed around in court for two years before it was inexplicably stayed (a legal term meaning allowed to expire without a trial.)
Kinew tried to keep the charges secret until someone leaked the details to the press in 2017 when he ran to be leader of the NDP, and since then whenever addressing the matter, he's said it never happened, which implies that his accuser is a liar.
Not one of these NDP candidates has challenged Kinew's curt dismissal of the allegations against him. He's never given his account of what happened that night. Do they accept that he's the victim? Is that what they would tell their clients, their supporters, and potential voters? What happened to "believe the woman'?
Oh, we know. Kinew's biggest supporter Nahanni Fontaine said when the charges against Kinew were revealed that she believed the woman. But, said Fontaine, Kinew had changed. He wasn't the same violent drunk of his youth, so he had her support. We would guess the six NDP candidates at the beginning of this story would say the same thing.
Now think carefully what Nahanni Fontaine was saying. She believed Wab's accuser. Which means she believed that Wab was lying when he said nothing happened. And as for his change, what change? He called his accuser a liar in 2017, he presumably called her a liar when the charges were laid, and he's calling her a liar today. What's changed about that?
Nahanni Fontaine, and presumably all those female candidates declaring how fiercely they fight domestic violence, are saying they know Wab Kinew is lying to the public, that he's guilty of domestic abuse, but that they are willing to turn a blind eye to get elected.
Are the NDP women seriously saying they want a lying, unrepentant domestic abuser to lead the province? Apparently so.