Biography

  • James was first elected MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview in 2011 and was re-elected in 2016.

  • He joined our team of NDP MLAs after a 15-year career with the City of Winnipeg. He also taught at the University of Winnipeg.

  • He is a well-known advocate for public education, active transportation and community development.

  • As Education Minister from 2013 to 2016, he worked hard to help young people transition seamlessly from school to career. He also served as the Justice Minister from November 2014 to April 2015.

  • On September 21, 2017 James became Critic for Finance, Growth, Enterprise & Trade and Agriculture.

James was first elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Fort Garry-Riverview in 2011 and was re-elected in 2016.

He worked with the City of Winnipeg for 15 years, where his last post was Manager of Aboriginal Initiatives in the Office of the CAO.

James’s commitment to public service had its start in the world of academia. After completing a BA and MA at Trent University, he went on to complete Queen’s University’s first PhD in Canadian and Environmental History.

He originally moved to Winnipeg in 1996 to work at the City of Winnipeg Archives and teach part-time in the Department of History at the University of Winnipeg. He also served as Chair of the Manitoba Heritage Council and of the Council on Post-Secondary Education for the Province of Manitoba.

James always saw his advocacy work on active transportation, civic heritage and community development as a natural extension of his work in education.

An avid hockey lover, James was the convenor and Jack Rabbit hockey coach for the Riverview Community Club. He still runs into the parents of kids he used to coach—and the kids themselves, all grown up—when he’s canvassing out on the doorstep.

James served as Minister of Education and Advanced Learning and as the Minister of Justice between 2013 and 2016. He firmly believes that learning doesn’t end at the classroom door—that’s why as an NDP Minister he launched a new online homework and an after-school tutoring project for elementary school students. He also announced a Credit Transfer Portal to make it easier for post-secondary students to move between institutions and eliminated interest on Manitoba student loans.

James and his wife Susan have three adult children and are proud to call Winnipeg home.

On September 21, 2017 James became Critic for Finance, Growth, Enterprise & Trade and Agriculture.