Activist, filmmaker Avi Lewis to run for federal NDP in southwest B.C. riding

·2 min read
Avi Lewis is the grandson of former federal NDP leader David Lewis and the son of former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis. He ruled out a bid for the federal party's leadership in 2017. (Eventbrite - image credit)
Avi Lewis is the grandson of former federal NDP leader David Lewis and the son of former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis. He ruled out a bid for the federal party's leadership in 2017. (Eventbrite - image credit)

Former journalist, filmmaker and activist Avi Lewis has set his sights on Ottawa by announcing his bid to seek the federal NDP nomination in the B.C. riding of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea-to-Sky Country.

"Together, we can not only win this riding but shake the entire political establishment of Canada," Lewis said a statement launching his campaign.

Lewis, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, is the grandson of former federal NDP leader David Lewis and the son of former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis.

He is married to author Naomi Klein. The two co-authored the Leap Manifesto, which advocates an end to the use of fossil fuels, including a moratorium on new infrastructure projects like pipelines. The principles of the manifesto were adopted by the NDP in 2016.

Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis on the red carpet during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.
Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis on the red carpet during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.(Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press)

In 2017, Lewis ruled out a run for the NDP leadership, saying it was "just a bad time in my life."

He was host and producer of CBC Newsworld's political debate show Counterspin from 1998 to 2001.

His 2015 film This Changes Everything was voted first runner up in the People's Choice Awards category for documentaries at the Toronto Film Festival that year.

A short film he made in 2019 with congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Message from the Future with AOC, was nominated for an Emmy.

His father has been a recognized advocate for human rights, social justice and HIV/AIDS. He was Canada's ambassador to the United Nations between 1984 and 1988, and the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from 2001 to 2006.

The West Vancouver area riding has been held by Liberal MP Patrick Weiler, an environmental lawyer, since 2019.

A virtual nomination meeting will be held Saturday — and so far Lewis is the only person to have announced their candidacy.

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