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Anita Neville, MP (born July 22, 1942) is a former Canadian politician. She was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal in the general election of 2000, and was re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2008, before being defeated in 2011.

Early life and career

Neville was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Manitoba. Before entering political life, Neville worked as an Economic Development Consultant for the province of Manitoba. She was a director of Workforce 2000 and the Winnipeg Core Area Initiative and Employment Training Program, and has also been involved in the Law Society of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Jewish Child and Family organization. During the 1990s, she was a member of the Canadian delegation that monitored elections in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Neville was for several years a school trustee on the Winnipeg School Board, representing Ward One in the Winnipeg School Division from 1986 to 2000. Neville regularly topped the poll in her three-member constituency. She served as Chair of the Board for five years (1987–1989; 1996–1998), and also chaired its finance committee for a period of time.

Federal politics

In the 1995 provincial election in Manitoba, Neville was a Liberal candidate in the upscale west-Winnipeg riding of River Heights. This riding is usually considered as one of the few safe seats for the provincial Liberals, and was previously held by party leader Sharon Carstairs prior to her appointment to the Canadian Senate in 1994. Nevertheless, Neville was defeated by Progressive Conservative candidate Mike Radcliffe, 5429 votes to 4435.

Later in 1995, Neville was re-elected as a Winnipeg school trustee, finishing in first place in Ward One with 13,828 votes. In the 1999 election, she chaired the successful campaign of provincial Liberal leader Jon Gerrard in River Heights.

In the 2000 federal election, Neville was the Liberal nominee for the Winnipeg South Centre, previously held by the retiring Lloyd Axworthy. She was elected with 15,231 votes, against 10,675 for her nearest competitor, Progressive Conservative David Newman. This contest was notable for a controversy involving Canadian Alliance candidate Betty Granger, who made comments about Asian students that many interpreted as racist.

In the 2004 election, Neville was re-elected with 18,133 votes against 10,516 for Conservative candidate Raj Joshi.

In 2008, Neville was re-elected with 16,438 votes (42.3%) against 14,103 (36.3%) for Conservative Party candidate Trevor Kennerd, 5,490 (14.1%) for NDP candidate Rachel Heinrichs, and 2,860 (7.4%) for Green Party candidate Vere Scott.

Under the government of Paul Martin, Neville served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. She has also served as the Official Opposition Critic for Indian Affairs.

In the 2011 election, Neville lost her seat to Conservative Joyce Bateman by 696 votes.[1]

Political interests

Neville was the Official Opposition Critic for the Status of Women, and was a member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women and the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

Neville is a prominent supporter of Israel within the Liberal Party caucus and is co-chairperson of the Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel with Senator David Smith. She was a vocal opponent of the war with Iraq in early 2003, and is currently a leading opponent of the proposed American Missile Defense Shield. She has also supported numerous initiatives in the aboriginal community, and supported the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005.

References

  1. ^ Elections Canada

External links