Flor Marcelino, the first woman of colour to be elected in the provincial legislative assembly of Manitoba, has reached another milestone.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) in the province formally named Marcelino as interim leader on May 7, 2016 following a devastating loss by the party in the April 2016 election. She is the first woman of ethnic background to become leader of the party.
The election loss toppled the then ruling NDP government, prompting former premier Greg Selinger to announce his resignation as party leader.
Marcelino, 64, has been a member of the legislative assembly (MLA) since 2007.
“We are very proud to have Flor as our interim leader during this time of reflection and renewal within our party,” said party president Ovide Mercredi.
“Her several years of experience as both an MLA and minister will make her a formidable Opposition leader, and her strong ties to diverse communities across Manitoba will prove invaluable for our party’s positive, progressive agenda moving forward,” Mercredi also said.
Marcelino looks forward to working with her colleagues in holding the Progressive Conservative government accountable.
“We will work the newly elected government to serve the needs all Manitobans, and fight to ensure the front line services families count on are protected,” Marcelino said.
Prior to entering politics, Marcelino was a small business owner, editor of The Philippine Times, and worked as support staff at Red River College for 17 years.
Between 2009 and 2016, Marcelino served as Minister for Culture, Heritage, and Tourism, and Minister for Multiculturalism and Literacy.
The NDP has 14 elected representatives in the Manitoba legislature, including four Indigenous MLAs, two Filipinos, and one Sikh.
Born in the Philippines, Marcelino and her family moved to Winnipeg in 1982.