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Gonick was elected to the legislature in the provincial election of 1969, defeating incumbent Progressive Conservative Gurney Evans by 273 votes in the Winnipeg riding of Crescentwood. He was a backbencher in Edward Schreyer's government for the next four years.
Gonick was the only Manitoba NDP MLA who was an avowed member of "The Waffle" during this period. He frequently criticized his government from a left-wing perspective, particularly on issues such as medical billing practices and the foreign ownership of natural resources. On one occasion, he introduced a private member's bill which would have forced all medical doctors to make their incomes public.
He did not run for re-election in 1973, and did not seek a return to provincial politics after this time. He returned to teaching at the University of Manitoba where he was the program coordinator for the Labour and Workplace Studies Program, retiring in 2001.
His son Noam Gonick is a noted Canadian film director.
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