Jenny Kwan says she's ecstatic about endorsement from humanitarian Stephen Lewis in Vancouver East NDP race

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      Among Canadian New Democrats, it's hard to imagine anyone who's more admired than Stephen Lewis.

      After serving as Ontario NDP leader, he later became Canada's ambassador to the United Nations and deputy executive director of UNICEF. He's a spellbinding public speaker and has 37 honorary degrees from Canadian universities.

      Lewis's greatest legacy may have been as former UN secretary general Kofi Annan's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from 2001 to 2006.

      So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Jenny Kwan was thrilled to learn that Lewis has endorsed her candidacy for the NDP nomination in Vancouver East.

      Kwan revealed the news to the Straight at a March 14 rally opposing the Conservatives' antiterrorism bill, C-51, which has been widely condemned by civil libertarians, First Nations activists, and Amnesty International.

      "I'm ecstatic to be receiving the endorsement of such a significant national and international voice on social justice—from women's rights, economic inequality, international development, aboriginal justice, and human rights, Stephen Lewis has always been there at the forefront of social change," Kwan said. "This endorsement means so much to me because of the amazing work he has done throughout his career for the most marginalized people, both here in Canada and internationally."

      Lewis issued the following statement: "At this pivotal time, the NDP needs strong, uncompromising, principled voices. Jenny Kwan gives us that voice. Whether it's calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women, or demanding federal attention to poverty, harm reduction and HIV in the Downtown Eastside, or confronting the crude anti-terrorism agenda of the Harper government, you can count on Jenny Kwan."

      He added this: "She'll be a marvellous addition to the NDP caucus; she'll maintain the stature of Libby Davies; she'll make all of us proud."

      Jenny Kwan is hoping to succeed Libby Davies as the NDP MP in Vancouver East.
      Stephen Hui

      On Sunday (March 22), NDP members will nominate their candidate in Vancouver East at a meeting at Vancouver Technical secondary school.

      Kwan, the MLA for Vancouver–Mount Pleasant, is running against Vancouver-Kensington NDP MLA Mable Elmore and SFU Vancouver public-relations director Scott McLean.

      Meanwhile, Lewis continues advocating on behalf of Africans coping with the HIV/AIDS crisis. 

      The Stephen Lewis Foundation, which he founded, has helped more than 300 organizations battling HIV/AIDS in 15 African countries.

      His uncompromising book, Race Against Time, showed how the pandemic was magnified by "structural-adjustment programs" forced on African countries by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.



      I see a Hack

      Mar 16, 2015 at 1:36pm

      Wow an NDP hack supports another NDP hack in her quest for another pension. Jenny Kwan is not worthy of taking Ms. Davies' seat but the party needs to support the hacks. Mable Elmore is a fantastic MLA who never had to pay back thousands of misappropriated dollars intended for the neediest people in the city. I am a member of the NDP and am supporting Ms. Elmore for her honesty, ethical standards and because she has actually worked outside politics.


      Mar 16, 2015 at 2:29pm

      As far as the "quest for another pension" goes, I have to note that Ms. Kwan has worked as an MLA for 18 years, while Ms. Elmore has worked as an MLA for six years only as of May 2015, which is the precise minimum she must work to obtain a government pension.

      Of course, Elmore could demonstrate her commitment to people above paycheque by resigning immediately if she won the nomination. But I expect she'll stay on until May 13, 2015 to double-dip if she were to win the federal nomination (which seems increasingly unlikely).

      miranda da costa díaz

      Mar 16, 2015 at 3:05pm

      I have to shake my head. Since when is Stephen Lewis anyone's hack? In fact, both he and Jenny Kwan define the antithesis of the term "hack." Each is outspoken, fearless, able to convey a sense of purpose and urgency, and without question - and at some personal cost - an advocate for those least powerful and most reviled amongst us. And, as regards the "NDP hack" comments above, why would anyone who is so certain that the party's well known leaders, such as Lewis and Kwan, are hacks, want to be a member of that same party? Comments containing inadvertent lessons in the value of keeping one's mouth shut are so delightful, aren't they, particularly when they clearly point out the desperation of those making them.


      Mar 16, 2015 at 3:38pm

      house of commons is a nasty arena and vanc's require an experienced tactician for our collective grassroots voice.
      elmore was a bus driver. as good as that gets, under the current regime of vitriolic big oil meme spin of the no transit duped, i don't hear from elmore in the news, ever, explaining this divisive victorian referendum: only jenny is of the courage and spirit to represent eastside vancs: jenny paid back every penny she was duped for by PHS. you go jenny!

      mickey mouse

      Mar 17, 2015 at 1:01am

      Mickey Mouse just announced his endorsement of Jenny Kwan's campaign.

      Gee Gee

      Mar 19, 2015 at 9:48pm

      Honestly, this is what politics comes to.
      Career hacks who have never had a real job or had to meet a payroll (Kwan) and survive questionable conduct (at best) to reach up the ladder again (city to provincial to federal) only to be supported by Mr. Owen, who I used to respect.
      Jenny is so opportunistic but will have a great trip to Disneyland to celebrate her nomination. You can't write this stuff. No wonder we can not get qualified people to run for the right reasons...and no, a bus driver is not qualified to manage a million dollar budget either.
      This stuff just pisses me off.


      Mar 22, 2015 at 12:33pm

      Its a dirty job and someone has to do it. I guess some would rather have the dictator Harpers friends do it.


      Mar 22, 2015 at 2:39pm

      is he going to pay for her next trip to Disneyland?