Winnipeg mayor says he believes Wab Kinew's apologies are sincere

Mayor Brian Bowman says he believes new Manitoba NDP leader and former mayoral advisor Wab Kinew is sincere when he expresses regret for his past.

'Redemption is possible,' Brian Bowman says of new NDP leader, who once advised mayor

Mayor Brian Bowman says the Wab Kinew he knows is sincere in his regrets. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

Mayor Brian Bowman says he believes new Manitoba NDP leader and former mayoral advisor Wab Kinew is sincere when he expresses regret for his past.

On Wednesday, CBC News asked Winnipeg's mayor to address allegations that came forward about Kinew shortly before and after he was elected NDP leader on the weekend.

Last week, Kinew's former partner told the Canadian Press she was thrown across a room and received rug burns during an altercation in 2003. Kinew subsequently denied her version of events.

This week, CBC News reported there are discrepancies between the court record of Kinew's assault on a cab driver in 2004 and the politician's account of the incident in his memoir, The Reason You Walk.

Bowman said while he would not address specific aspects of the allegations against Kinew, he believes the NDP leader is sincere.

New Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew directed 'racial comments' at a cab driver he assaulted in 2004, court records say. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)
Kinew served as the chair of the mayor's Indigenous Advisory Circle from 2015 until he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature the following year. Kinew also supported Bowman's response to a magazine article describing Winnipeg as Canada's most racist city.

"The Wab Kinew that I have known and that provided invaluable support to the creation of the Indigenous advisory circle is somebody I believe is sincere in his regret of some of his actions in the past and I believe he's trying to make amends for that," Bowman said at city hall following an executive policy committee meeting.

"Redemption is possible and when someone offers what I view is a sincere apology, then I wish him and anybody in that position all of the very best. I wish him well in his role as leader of the Opposition and I wish him well in the personal journey that he continues on in trying to make amends."

CBC News asked the mayor to address the allegations about Kinew after Bowman told reporters he wishes all MLAs supported provincial ride-sharing legislation.

Bowman said he does not intend to call Kinew personally as part of a lobbying effort.

About the Author

Bartley Kives

Reporter, CBC Manitoba

Reporter Bartley Kives joined CBC Manitoba in 2016. Prior to that, he spent three years at the Winnipeg Sun and 18 at the Winnipeg Free Press, writing about politics, music, food and outdoor recreation. He's the author of the Canadian bestseller A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada's Undiscovered Province and co-author of both Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg and Stuck In The Middle 2: Defining Views of Manitoba. His work has also appeared in publications such as the Guardian and Explore magazine.