|Manitoba Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation|
November 3, 2009 – December 22, 2014
|Preceded by||Ron Lemieux|
|Manitoba Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs|
September 21, 2006 – September 14, 2009
|Preceded by||Scott Smith|
|Succeeded by||Ron Lemieux|
|Manitoba Minister of Water Stewardship|
November 4, 2003 – September 21, 2006
|Preceded by||new portfolio|
|Succeeded by||Christine Melnick|
|Manitoba Minister of Labour and Immigration|
June 25, 2003 – November 4, 2003
|Preceded by||Becky Barrett|
|Succeeded by||Nancy Allan|
|Manitoba Minister of Conservation|
September 25, 2002 – November 4, 2003
|Preceded by||Oscar Lathlin|
|Succeeded by||Stan Struthers|
|Manitoba Minister of Transportation and Government Services|
January 17, 2001 – September 25, 2002
|Preceded by||new portfolio|
|Succeeded by||Scott Smith|
|Manitoba Minister of Highways and Government Services|
October 5, 1999 – January 17, 2001
|Preceded by||new portfolio|
|Succeeded by||poltfolio abolished|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba|
November 17, 1981 – April 19, 2016
|Preceded by||Ken MacMaster|
|Succeeded by||Kelly Bindle|
|President of the University of Manitoba Students' Union|
Steven John Ashton|
February 29, 1956
|Political party||New Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Hariklia Dimitrakopoulou-Ashton (1979- )|
University of Manitoba|
Steven John "Steve" Ashton (born February 29, 1956) is a British-born Canadian politician in Manitoba, Canada. He was a long-serving member of the Manitoba legislature, and was a long-time cabinet minister in the New Democratic Party governments of Gary Doer and Greg Selinger. He resigned from cabinet on December 22, 2014 to challenge Selinger for the leadership of the party. Ashton was eliminated from the race, after finishing last on the first ballot at the 2015 NDP leadership convention. Selinger was reelected party leader on the second ballot.
Ashton was the losing candidate in the 2017 leadership election.
Ashton was born in Surrey, England, the son of John Stewart Ashton and Nedra May Childs. He moved with his family to Thompson, in northern Manitoba, at age eleven. He was educated at R.D. Parker Collegiate in that community, the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He was President of the University of Manitoba Students' Union in 1978-79 and has lectured in Economics for the former Inter Universities North in Thompson and Cross Lake.
Ashton was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in the 1981 provincial election, defeating Progressive Conservative incumbent Ken MacMaster by 72 votes in the constituency of Thompson. At the time of his first election, Ashton was involved in an INCO strike in the Thompson area as a member of the United Steelworkers of America. He was re-elected in the 1986 election by a greater margin. Ashton did not serve in the cabinet of Howard Pawley.
The NDP were defeated in the provincial election of 1988, although Ashton won his own riding by a comfortable margin. He would later serve as House Leader for the NDP in opposition, and was easily re-elected in the provincial elections of 1990, 1995 and 1999. In 1995, he supported Lorne Nystrom's bid to lead the federal New Democratic Party.
When NDP leader Gary Doer became Premier of Manitoba in October 1999, Ashton was appointed Minister of Highways and Government Services. On July 4, 2000, he was charged with administration of the Gaming Control Act; his ministry was renamed as Transportation and Government Services on January 17, 2001. Following a cabinet shuffle on September 25, 2002, Ashton became Minister of Conservation (in which capacity he argued for national approval of the Kyoto Accord on climate change). On June 25, 2003, he was also made Minister of Labour and Immigration with responsibility for Multiculturalism and administration of the Worker's Compensation Act.
In 2003, Ashton supported Bill Blaikie's campaign to become leader of the federal NDP.
Ashton was re-elected in the 2003 election with over 82% of the vote in his constituency. On November 4, 2003, he was named as the province's first Minister of Water Stewardship (created after highly publicized water contamination tragedies in Walkerton, Ontario and North Battleford, Saskatchewan).
Ashton was re-elected in the 2007 provincial election and in September 2007 he was appointed Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization.
On September 4, 2009, Ashton announced his candidacy to succeed Gary Doer as leader of the Manitoba NDP in the 2009 leadership election and ran on a platform advocating the party's return to its social justice and labour roots. Ashton placed second behind Greg Selinger with 34.2% of the vote.
Upon Greg Selinger's election as premier, Ashton was made Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, with the added responsibilities of Emergency Measures and the administration of the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation Act. He is also the lead minister for Canada-Manitoba Infrastructure programs.
Ashton resigned from cabinet on December 22, 2014 in order to challenge Selinger in the 2015 Manitoba NDP leadership election.
In 1979, Ashton married Hariklia "Hari" Dimitrakopoulou, and the couple have two children, Niki and Alexander. His daughter, Niki Ashton, is also a politician and is the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for the riding of Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, while his son Alexander was elected chairman of the board of trustees for the Mystery Lake School Division. Ashton is also Secretary of the Canadian Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles, seeking the return of the treasured sculptures from Britain to Greece. He speaks Greek, and has written on the political culture of that nation.
|New Democratic Party of Manitoba leadership election, 2009|
|Manitoba general election, 2007: Thompson|
|New Democratic||Steve Ashton||3,036||73.44||$9,356.43|
|Progressive Conservative||Cory Phillips||416||10.06||$688.99|
|Total valid votes||4,108||99.37|
|Rejected and declined votes||26|
|Manitoba general election, 1999: Thompson|
|New Democratic||Steve Ashton||3,793||70.58||$7,846.00|
|Progressive Conservative||Cecil Thorne||1,306||24.03||$20,487.52|
|Total valid votes||5,343||100.00|
|Rejected and declined votes||31|
- "Steven Ashton". Alumni Awards. Lakehead University. 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
- "MLA Biographies - Living". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
- Normandin, Pierre G (1984). Canadian Parliamentary Guide.
- "Steve Ashton: Manitoba's longest-serving MLA since 1981 resigns from cabinet to seek premiership". Thompson Citizen. September 9, 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
- "Minister Steve Ashton resigns, says he will seek leadership of Manitoba NDP". Prince George Citizen. December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
- "BREAKING: Steve Ashton enters Manitoba NDP leadership rac". Global News. December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
- "Steve Ashton". Lakehead Alumni. Lakehead University. Archived from the original on 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
- "Alexander Ashton defeats Leslie Tucker to become new school board chair". Barker, John. The Thompson Citizen. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2010-11-25. - 2007 results
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2010-08-10. - 1999 Results