Saint Boniface–Saint Vital
Dan Vandal has a degree in social work from the University of Manitoba. Vandal was a city councillor in Winnipeg for almost a decade before running federally. During that time he served as Deputy Mayor in 2003 and as acting Mayor when the sitting mayor resigned. He stepped down to run for Mayor in 2004 but was re-elected in 2006. He was twice endorsed as a city councillor by the Winnipeg Labour Council.
Vandal was elected as a Member of Parliament in 2015. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, as well as the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
In 1996 Vandal served on an ad hoc council committee that held public hearings on federal and provincial welfare cuts. He also sat on the city’s property and development committee and introduced a motion to create a municipal aboriginal affairs committee. Vandal was Winnipeg’s representative on an aboriginal subcommittee of the Manitoba Round Table on Environment and Economy. He was also the primary author of a 15-point strategy to combat poverty among the aboriginal community in the city.
Before running for city council, Vandal worked in social work with a special focus on supporting youth. He was inspired to go into social work after becoming a youth worker at the Mamawiwichiitata Centre.
Vandal is Métis, the youngest of eight children born in Winnipeg. He is a father of two. At the age of 15 he started boxing and worked his way up to being the top ranked middle-weight in Canada in 1983. He has credited boxing with helping him turn his life around after dropping out of high school. One of his last acts as a city councillor was to introduce a motion for the city to support the nationwide call for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.
He is a volunteer on the board of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and has been chair of the Manitoba Combative Sports Commission. In the 1990s Vandal was vice-president of the Old St. Boniface Residents Association and campaigned against a proposed baseball stadium in the neighbourhood.