Daniel Vandal Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He represented St. Boniface on the Winnipeg City Council from 1995 to 2004 and from 2006 to 2014, and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Winnipeg in 2004, coming in second to Sam Katz. He briefly served as acting mayor of Winnipeg following Glen Murray's resignation. On October 19, 2015, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital in the House of Commons of Canada. He is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and as of November 20, 2019 serves as the Federal Minister of Northern Affairs in Justin Trudeau's cabinet.(born April 18, 1960) is a Métis Canadian politician in
|Minister of Northern Affairs|
|Assumed office |
November 20, 2019
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Dominic LeBlanc|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital
|Assumed office |
October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Shelly Glover|
|Mayor of Winnipeg (acting)|
May 11, 2004 – May 14, 2004
|Preceded by||Glen Murray|
|Succeeded by||Jae Eadie (acting),|
then Sam Katz
|Winnipeg City Councillor|
November 7, 2006 – November 4, 2014
|Preceded by||Franco Magnifico|
|Succeeded by||Matt Allard|
November 7, 1995 – May 14, 2004
|Preceded by||Evelyne Reese|
|Succeeded by||Franco Magnifico|
|Born||April 18, 1960|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Political party||NDP (c. 1995–c. 2014)|
|Occupation||Boxer, social worker|
Early life and career
Vandal was born on April 18, 1960 to a Métis family in Winnipeg, the youngest of eight children. His family identified as French Canadian during his youth, and he only became aware of his Métis heritage in later life.
Vandal dropped out of high school, and was a manual labourer for part of his teenage years. He started boxing at age 15, turned professional in 1978, and was the #1 ranked Canadian middleweight in 1983. The following year, he fought Alex Hilton for the Canadian title in front of 18,000 fans at the Montreal Forum. He later credited boxing for turning his life around, and has opposed efforts to ban the sport.
Vandal subsequently became a youth worker at Winnipeg's Mamawiwichiitata Centre, and received a degree in Social Work from the University of Manitoba. He was vice-president of the Old St. Boniface Residents Association in the 1990s, and campaigned against the proposed construction of a stadium for Sam Katz's Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team in Whittier Park.
- Thompson administration
Vandal was elected to the Winnipeg City Council in the 1995 municipal election, winning an upset victory over incumbent councillor Evelyne Reese in the St. Boniface Ward. He was associated with the left-leaning Winnipeg in the '90s (WIN) group, which also included councillors Glen Murray and Lillian Thomas. In 1996, Vandal and Murray served on an ad hoc social services committee that held a series of public hearings on federal and provincial welfare cuts. He later saved the Pointe Hebert neighborhood in his ward from being turned into parkland, and was chosen to sit on the city's newly formed property and development committee in November 1997.
Vandal was a frequent opponent of Mayor Susan Thompson during his first term, and voted against several of Thompson's major initiatives. He opposed a 2% salary rollback for municipal employees in 1996, and later opposed the dissolution of the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation, which provided public housing. In 1997, he voted against a proposal to allow Sam Katz to build a new baseball stadium for the Goldeyes on a city-owned site at The Forks. Vandal's position was that the project was not financially viable, and that Katz would later return to the city for more money. The initiative nonetheless passed, and CanWest Global Park opened in 1999.
In February 1997, Vandal introduced a motion to create a municipal aboriginal affairs committee that would address issues of crime prevention and health. He later represented Winnipeg on an aboriginal subcommittee of the Manitoba Round Table on Environment and Economy.
- Murray administration
The WIN organization was dissolved after the 1995 election. Vandal was re-elected in the 1998 municipal election as an independent with support from the Winnipeg Labour Council and the New Democratic Party, of which he was a member at the time. Glen Murray was elected Mayor of Winnipeg in this campaign, and appointed Vandal to his executive policy committee (i.e. the municipal cabinet) as chair of the protection and community services committee, which oversees Winnipeg's police, fire and hospital services. Vandal also led a task force charged with improving francophone services in the city, and was one of three council representatives on the board of Winnipeg Enterprises Corp.
- Chair of the Protection and Community Services Committee
Murray's administration was often at odds with Gary Doer's provincial government in early 2000 over Winnipeg's ambulance services. Murray and Vandal argued that the city's share of the cost, about $2.5 million per year, should be assumed by the province. Doer initially disagreed, and the issue was unresolved for several months. In July 2000, the city and the province announced a deal with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to provide five new ambulances and thirty new paramedics, with a ceiling on municipal costs. Vandal said that he was very pleased with the outcome.
Vandal promoted a plan to turn over some police responsibilities to civilian control in 1999, both to reduce costs and to free up more officers for front-line duty. He later supported a plan to introduce photo radar to catch speeding drivers, and endorsed a 2000 report that called for three fire stations to be closed to provide increased funding for paramedic services. Vandal argued that overall fire services would not be affected, as a smaller number of stations could oversee the city. Later in the year, he announced $445,000 in new money to combat a growing problem of arson.
- Chair of the Property and Development Committee
Murray shuffled the executive policy committee on October 30, 2000, and moved Vandal to the chairmanship of Winnipeg's property and development committee. Soon after his appointment, he helped bring about the demolition of an abandoned Canada Packers site in his ward. The site had been regarded as an eyesore for many years, and was a frequent target for arsonists.
Vandal was chair of the property and development committee when Wal-Mart announced that it had found suitable land for a new establishment in north Winnipeg. This came two years after the company lost a political battle to construct a store in a separate area of the same neighbourhood. Vandal argued that this announcement validated council's decision to reject the initial application, which he said would have cost the city an extra $20 million.
Vandal was again endorsed by the Winnipeg Labour Council for the 2002 municipal election. No challengers came forward, and Vandal was returned to council by acclamation. Glen Murray was elected to a second term as mayor, and Vandal was kept as chair of the property and development committee after the election. In 2003, he helped oversee the beginnings of a new subdivision in Waverley West.
- Aboriginal issues
Vandal said that he wanted to make aboriginal issues the top priority of his third term in office, and was subsequently the primary author of a 15-point strategy to combat poverty among Winnipeg's aboriginal community. The strategy was highlighted by a plan to create urban reserves, and to provide increased municipal support for aboriginal ventures. The final version of the Municipal Aboriginal Pathways strategy was officially unveiled in September 2003.
- Other issues
Vandal believed that St. Boniface could be developed as a vibrant French Quarter for Winnipeg, and supported tax credits as a means of encouraging this outcome. He also supported a plan to increase the area's population, arguing that this would bring about improvements in other fields.
Vandal was the only member of Murray's cabinet to support a compromise with local anti-poverty groups to remove the most contentious aspects of an anti-panhandling by-law in 1999. He supported funding for downtown festivals as a means of boosting tourism, and helped approve $200,000 to this end in 2000. He was the first cabinet member to favour a total indoor smoking ban in public places, and supported Winnipeg's landmark smoking ban in 2002.
In May 2002, Vandal represented the mayor and council for the raising of a gay pride flag at city hall. He said that he hoped the flag would encourage a spirit of tolerance.
There were rumours that Vandal would run as a candidate of the Liberal Party of Canada in a federal by-election in St. Boniface in 2002, but he declined to pursue the option. He later took part in a major Winnipeg protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- Deputy Mayor
Vandal was promoted to Deputy Mayor of Winnipeg in a November 2003 cabinet shuffle, while remaining chair of the property and development committee and receiving additional responsibility for implementing the city's aboriginal strategy. Many pundits saw this as evidence that Murray was preparing Vandal to become his successor as mayor. In 2004, Vandal indicated his support for Prime Minister Paul Martin's plan to divert a portion of Canada's Goods and Services Tax revenue to municipal infrastructure.
In late 2003, Vandal requested that hockey legend and franchise owner Mario Lemieux consider bringing the Pittsburgh Penguins to Winnipeg. This was considered to be a longshot offer, and was not successful. Vandal later indicated that Winnipeg was contacted by a "Sun Belt" hockey franchise that was considering a move to Winnipeg, although this too never came to fruition. It was later revealed that the team in question was the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Glen Murray announced his resignation as mayor of Winnipeg on May 11, 2004, stepping down in mid-term to run for a seat in the House of Commons of Canada. Vandal served as acting mayor until May 14, when he resigned his St. Boniface seat to officially seek election as Murray's successor. He appointed Jae Eadie to the position of deputy mayor before resigning, which meant that Eadie served as acting mayor during the campaign.
Vandal ran on his record of accomplishment in Glen Murray's administration, while indicating that he would run the city in a different style. He promised $4.4 million annually in new spending, a downtown housing tax credit and productivity reinvestment tax credit, doubling the city's arts funding, and the creation of a new municipal holiday to celebrate the city's heritage. His campaign launch was introduced by Tina Keeper, and his supporters included John Angus, Jenny Gerbasi, Lillian Thomas and Mary Richard, as well as the Winnipeg Labour Council and local anti-poverty activists. Despite a strong start, his campaign was hurt by the late entry of MaryAnn Mihychuk, whose candidacy split the centre-left vote. Some argued that Vandal also had difficulty presenting himself as a strong leader. He ultimately finished second against Sam Katz.
Shortly after the election, Vandal was hired by the province to administer a $75 million urban development agreement for Winnipeg's inner city. He later became a project officer with the aboriginal affairs committee of the provincial cabinet.
Return to city council
Vandal was re-elected to the Winnipeg City Council for St. Boniface in the 2006 municipal election over incumbent Franco Magnifico, who had taken the seat after Vandal stepped down in 2004. The contest was expected to be close, but Vandal won by a significant margin. By this time, he once again identified as a member of the New Democratic Party. Sam Katz was re-elected as mayor.
Vandal was appointed to the Winnipeg Housing Steering Committee in March 2007, and also sits on the property and planning committee. In early 2007, he wrote an opinion piece for the Winnipeg Free Press calling for a reduction in property taxes rather than the business tax cut favoured by Katz. He argued that a business tax cut would drive up property rates, citing precedents in several other North American cities. Vandal has also criticized Katz and council for not moving forward with educational and employment opportunities for aboriginal youth, despite having allocated funds for such programs.
Vandal emerged as one of Sam Katz's most prominent council opponents in late 2007 and 2008. He was a vocal critic of Katz's water and sewer rate increases in late 2007, and accused the mayor of diverting the increased funds into general revenue to pay for his business tax cuts. (Following criticism, Katz agreed to stop the funding diversion by 2009. Some political observers described this as the first serious setback to Katz's control over council after the 2006 election.) Vandal later opposed Katz's plan for a private-public partnership to repair Winnipeg's Disraeli Bridge and Freeway.
Vandal called for a public inquiry into the finances Riverside Park Management in late 2008, after the city erased $233,000 from the organization's back taxes. The Riverside group is closely linked to Katz's baseball team, and Vandal and others have raised concerns about a potential conflict-of-interest situation and Riverside's status as a non-profit organization.
In late 2007, Vandal helped create a new city park named after Elzéar Goulet, who was a member of Louis Riel's provisional government in 1869-70. He later helped preserve a provincial historical site at Upper Fort Garry against opposition from Mayor Katz and developers.
As one of his last acts as councilor in September 2014, Vandal instigated a two part motion to address the plight of abducted vulnerable women nationwide, particularly Native women. The motion calls for: the city to support the growing nationwide body of advocates including party leaders and advocates and Winnipeg, and provincial governments demanding a Federal inquiry into the plight of abducted and murdered women. The motion also calls for greater support for the Winnipeg Police to protect and socially support the recovery of vulnerable women of Winnipeg. The motion was passed with a vote of 14–1 on September 24, 2014 and Winnipeg the first major municipality to join the body of advocates. Outgoing mayor Sam Katz amended the proposition to include $150K to support an aboriginal youth drop in center. Vandal believes that this position will help open a dialog and advocate for the reforms to enhance protection of vulnerable women by giving them a voice.
Vandal stated that he would not run for re-election in 2014 and would instead run as the federal Liberal candidate in Saint Boniface—Saint Vital in the next federal election. Within a day of the writ drop, Vandal was endorsed by the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg president Alex Forrest.
Having represented most of the territory covered by the riding for the better part of two decades, Vandal was considered a strong candidate. His chances significantly increased when Conservative incumbent Shelly Glover announced she would not run for reelection. While Glover had held the riding for two terms, it was ancestrally a Liberal one. Vandal won easily as part of the Liberals' near-sweep of Winnipeg.
He is the current minister of Northern affairs.
|2019 Canadian federal election|
|New Democratic||Billie Cross||8,037||16.98||+6.39|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||47,338||100.0|
|Total rejected ballots||269||0.57||+0.26|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2015 Canadian federal election|
|New Democratic||Erin Selby||5,169||10.59||-5.2||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||48,829||100.0||$198,718.79|
|Total rejected ballots||–||–||–|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+24.33%|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|(x) Dan Vandal||15,242||82.2|
|Candidate||Total votes||% of total votes||Notes|
|Total valid votes||17,259||100.00|
|Candidate||Total votes||% of total votes|
|Nelson P. Morrison||528||0.23|
|Total valid votes||232,898||100.00|
|Candidate||Total votes||% of total votes||Notes|
|Candidate||Total votes||% of total votes||Notes|
|Total valid votes||18,425||100.00|
|Candidate||Total votes||% of total votes||Notes|
|Total valid votes||17,639||100.00|
- "Profile - Vandal, Daniel". Ottawa, Ontario: Library of Parliament (PARLINFO). Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- David O'Brien, "A councillor rediscovers his Metis roots", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 November 2002, A11.
- Joe Friesen, "Former boxer lands a blow for fitness", Globe and Mail, 22 February 2005, A7.
- "Boxing", Globe and Mail, 11 July 1984, S7; Michael Thibault, "New councillor has a lot of clout, expects to win rounds at city hall", Winnipeg Free Press, 29 November 1995, 1; David O'Brien, "A councillor rediscovers his Metis roots", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 November 2002, A11.
- Hal Sigurdson, "Burns up off canvas for another go-round", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 December 1995, C3. He was a guest judge at a professional boxing match in Winnipeg in 1999, where he strongly criticized the rise of a newer, more brutal competition called "ultimate boxing". See Aldo Santin, "'Ultimate boxing' wins round with approval for local bouts", Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 2000, A1.
- "Graduate list offers proof course helps inner city", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 October 1997, A16; "Dan Vandal", Winnipeg Free Press, 2 June 2004, B1.
- Nick Martin, "Whittier pushed as Goldeyes' home", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 September 1994.
- Bill Redekop, "Council now tilts to the right", Winnipeg Free Press, 26 October 1995, A1.
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- "Thompson announces new city team", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 1997, A5.
- Stevens Wild, "Rollback rips up' the rules", Winnipeg Free Press, 31 January 1996, A1; "Here's how they voted on proposal", Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1996, A3.
- Aldo Santin, "City ends housing experiment", Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 1997, A6.
- Kelly Taylor, "City puts ball park on first with vote", Winnipeg Free Press, 29 May 1997, D3; Aldo Santin, "Will Katz swing . . . miss?", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 July 1997, A4.
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- Aldo Santin, "WIN exiting city scene", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 1996, A16.
- Linda Quattrin, "10 New Democrats run under banner", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 August 1998, A3; Bill Redekop, "Civic union puts out political wish list", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 October 1998, A3.
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- David O'Brien, "Deal adds paramedics, ambulances", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 July 2000, A3.
- David O'Brien, "City pushes trend of more civilians on police force", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1999, A4.
- David O'Brien, "Councillors wary about installing photo-radar system", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 May 2000, A4; Leah Janzen, "Doer open to photo radar as a safety tool", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 October 2000.
- David O'Brien, "Axe fire halls, hire more paramedics: report", Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 2000, A1.
- "Arson", Broadcast News, 22 June 2000, 04:32.
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- David O'Brien, "Canada Packers plant demolition to get nod", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 November 2000, A10; David O'Brien, "Canada Packers site set to be rubble", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 March 2001, A3. The city began considering plans for a replacement development projects in 2002. See Leah Hendry, "Housing plan pitched for Packers site", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 February 2002, A3.
- David O'Brien, "Wal-Mart finds home for new store", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 April 2002, A3.
- "Labour names favoured civic candidates", Winnipeg Free Press, 20 June 2002, A8; "Winnipeg Labour Council lists candidates it will back", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 August 2002, A16.
- Leah Hendry, "Election race? What race? Four city councillors to run unchallenged", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 September 2002, A1.
- Leah Hendry, "Mayor keeps inner-circle team intact", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2002, A3.
- Mary Agnes Welch, "New suburb would be eco-friendly", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 May 2003, A1.
- Mary Agnes Welch, "Urban reserves to tackle poverty?", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 June 2003, A1.
- Mary Agnes Welch, "City unveils first strategy for aboriginals", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 September 2003, A1.
- Leah Hendry, "St. Boniface's makeover requires tax credits: Vandal", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 November 2002, A9; Leah Janzen, "Boosting St. Boniface City working to create 'only international French quarter in world", Winnipeg Free Press, 28 February 2004, B1; Mary Agnes Welch, "RENAISSANCE in Old St. B", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 2004, B1.
- Aldo Santin, "Residents split over new plan for St. B", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 2003, B1.
- Keith McArthur, "Mayor ignores advice of lawyers on beggar bylaw", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 January 1999, A3.
- David O'Brien, "Strike up the band for city's downtown", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 February 2000, A6; "City aids arts community", Winnipeg Free Press, 15 June 2000, A3.
- David O'Brien, "Butt ban burning out", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 July 2000, A1; David O'Brien, "Mall smoking ban spreads", Winnipeg Free Press, 1 May 2001, A8; "About the bylaw", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 July 2001, A2; Leah Hendry, "City butts out May 20?", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 2003, A1.
- David O'Brien, "Gay Pride flag to fly at city hall, evokes threats", Winnipeg Free Press, 29 May 2002, A5; David O'Brien, "Gay Pride flag raised amid cheers and tears", Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 2002, A3.
- Daniel Lett, "Vandal's happy where he's at; turns down Grits", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 January 2002, A14.
- Carol Sanders, "Stay out of war with Iraq, peace marchers tell Ottawa", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 November 2002, A1.
- Mary Agnes Welch, "Is this Winnipeg's next mayor?", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2003, B1; Mia Rabson, "Mihychuk for mayor? Provincial minister weighs the option if Murray jumps to Ottawa", Wininpeg Free Press, 12 December 2003, B1.
- Paul Samyn, "Martin pledges billions", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 February 2004, A1.
- "Little optimism about effort to lure NHL's Pens to city", Winnipeg Free Press, 2 January 2004, A3; "Pens turn down Winnipeg offer", Globe and Mail, 10 January 2004, S8.
- Scott Taylor, "Mystery ownerchecking us out", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 January 2004, C1; Scott Taylor, "Ship is sinking, but the captain is still arrogant", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 February 2004, C2.
- Scott Taylor, "Is Carlyle the best coach in pro hockey?", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 2005, S9.
- "Capital region politicians sign pledge to co-operate", Winnipeg Free Press, 1 May 2004, B4.
- Patti Edgar, "Three votes in 3 weeks", Winnipeg Free Press, 11 May 2004, A1.
- Patti Edgar, "Pagtakhan replaced as city's deputy mayor", Winnipeg Free Press, 13 May 2004, B6.
- Patti Edgar, "What the candidates are promising", Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 2004, A13.
- "Single city vote likely June 22", Winnipeg Free Press, 15 May 2004, A1; Daniel Lett, "Mihychuk poised to enter race for mayor"
- Daniel Lett, "Mihychuk poised to enter race for mayor", Winnipeg Free Press, 19 May 2004, A1; Daniel Lett, "Scrambled politics with a side of Bacon", Winnipeg Free Press, 11 June 2004, A10; Mary Agnes Welch, "Grand slam for Sam", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 June 2004, A1.
- Gordon Sinclair, "OK, then, who's your second choice?", Winnipeg Free Press, 19 June 2004, B1.
- David O'Brien, "Ex-councillor lands job on development plan", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 July 2004, A9.
- Mia Rabson, "Vandal floors foe to head back to city hall", Winnipeg Free Press, 26 October 2006, B9.
- Mary Agnes Welch, "St. Boniface race close, oddly quiet", Winnipeg Free Press, 21 October 2006, B2.
- "Katz names appointees to housing committee", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 March 2007, Web Extra.
- Bartley Kives, "Home car dealers get a break", Winnipeg Free Press, 31 October 2007, B1.
- Dan Vandal, "Cut property, not business tax", Winnipeg Free Press, 18 February 2007, B4. He later voted to advise the province to remove the school board levy from property taxes. See Aldo Santin, "Council votes for taxing change", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 2007, B2.
- Aldo Santin, "City cash tagged for native youth simply not spent", Winnipeg Free Press, 1 March 2007, B1; Joe Paraskevas, "City 'stalls' on plan for jobs for aboriginals", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 January 2008, A6.
- Bartley Kives, "Average household to pay $20 water hike", Winnipeg Free Press, 1 November 2008, B1.
- Bartley Kives, "Water, sewer rates to surge", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 November 2007, A4; Daniel Lett, "City hall finally sees some backbone", Winnipeg Free Press, 28 November 2007, B1.
- Bartley Kives, "Mayor blasts MLA on Disraeli plan", Winnipeg Free Press, 15 May 2008, B2.
- Bartley Kives and Joe Paraskevas, "Council dissidents wanted public inquiry", Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 2008, A7.
- Bartley Kives and Geoff Kirbyson, "How Riverside Park plays ball", Winnipeg Free Press, 29 September 2008, B1.
- Kevin Rollason, "New park urged for St. Boniface", Winnipeg Free Press, 27 November 2007, B3.
- Bartley Kives, "Upper Fort Garry site saved", Winnipeg Free Press, 29 March 2008, B1.
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- "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine