As a community leader, educator, advisor, and media contributor, Leah Gazan has been deeply engaged with issues and organizing in Winnipeg’s core for nearly three decades and has spent her life advocating for human rights on the local, national, and international stage. In October 2019, Leah was the first woman to be elected as Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre.
Since her election in 2019, Leah has worked tirelessly with other elected representatives, directors of frontline organizations, grassroots leaders, and volunteer community groups to fight for climate, social, economic justice and human rights for all.
She is currently the NDP Critic for Children, Families, and Social Development, as well as the Deputy Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. In 2019, she introduced a Private Member's bill, Bill C-232, The Climate Emergency Action Act, which recognized the right to a clean, healthy, and safe environment as a human right.
In August 2020, Leah submitted Motion-46, which was developed in collaboration with Basic Income Manitoba and Basic Income Canada, calling on the federal government to implement a permanent guaranteed livable basic income for all.
Leah has worked tirelessly since being elected, and this has garnered national and international attention, including being recognized for her contributions towards shaping the national political agenda in Maclean's 2021 Power List.
Prior to being elected, Leah taught at Red River College for a number of years before accepting a teaching position in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg in 2007, where she stayed before transitioning into politics. Leah has also worked with the David Suzuki Foundation to support Indigenous peoples in developing Indigenous Protected Conservation Areas.
Leah has served on many boards including as the President of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg between 2011- 2015. While serving as president, Leah organized and pushed forward policy in support of an end to poverty, addressing violence against women and girls, implementing solutions for housing insecurity and homelessness, ensuring fair wages, community-based actions addressing addictions and proper resources for mental health.
Leah is also known as a prominent local organizer, including being one of Winnipeg’s leads during Idle No More and co-founder of the #WeCare campaign, aimed at building public support to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two-spirit.
Leah is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory.