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Encyclopedia > Thomas G. Nevakshonoff

Thomas Nevakshonoff (born December 22, 1958 in Winnipeg) is a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He is currently a member of the Manitoba legislature.

Nevakshonoff moved with his parents to Poplarfield in 1959. He moved to Fisher Branch in 1972, and graduated from the Fisher Branch Collegiate Institute in 1977. He then spent eighteen years working in Canada's oilfields.

In 1987, Nevakshonoff graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in East European Studies (he himself is from a Doukhobor family that moved to Canada in 1899). He travelled to Russia in 1992 for a language immersion program; the following year, he was commissioned by the Canadian Embassy in Russia to write their annual report on the oil sector.

Nevakshonoff is President of Aberdeen House, a family-owned lodge located just south of Flin Flon.

Nevakshonoff was elected to the Manitoba legislature as a New Democrat in the provincial election of 1999, defeating Progressive Conservative Betty Green by 3809 votes to 3260 in the riding of Interlake. This election was notable for an effort by the local Tory campaign to spread false information about Nevakshonoff's past.

The controversy centred around Nevakshonoff's criminal record. During the 1970s (when he was still a teenager), Nevakshonoff had twice been charged with impaired driving, as well as less serious offenses. He was also charged with drug possession in 1979 when the police discovered marijuana at a party in his parent's house (this charge were subsequently dropped). During the 1999 campaign, a document was issued which accused Nevakshonoff of having a more extensive record of arrests -- claiming that he had served jail time for a break and enter in the 1970s, and that he was involved in either a drinking or drug-related crime in 1996. In fact, he had served one hour of jail time in the 1970s for arriving late to a court appearance, and had been fined in 1996 for not wearing a seatbelt and failing to renew his driver's license.

Many (including former Premier Edward Schreyer) suspected that the Progressive Conservatives were behind the accusatory document in question. Despite initial denials, Tory organizer Heather Campbell-Dewar pled guilty to defaming Nevakshonoff's character in 2001.

In 2003, he supported Bill Blaikie's campaign to become leader of the federal New Democratic Party.

Nevakshonoff was re-elected in the 2003 election, defeating Betty Green again by a wider margin.



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