By Kristy Kirkup ,Parliamentary Bureau
OTTAWA – Feisty Montrealer and NDP deputy leader Thomas Mulcair is going after the keys to Stornoway — the Ottawa residence of the leader of the official Opposition.
Mulcair announced he was joining the race to replace the late Jack Layton at a news conference in Montreal on Thursday. Other leadership candidates include former party president Brian Topp, Ontario MP Paul Dewar, B.C. MP Nathan Cullen and Quebec MP Romeo Saganash.
Several members of the NDP’s Quebec caucus had encouraged Mulcair join the competition, including Robert Aubin, Francois Lapointe, Jamie Nicholls, Tarik Brahmi, Marc-André Morin, Claude Patry and Pierre Nantel.
Mulcair’s main opponent is Topp, who is the early front-runner in the race. He has already several endorsements, including nods from Canada’s largest private sector union — the United Steelworkers — as well as from former party leader Ed Broadbent, former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow and deputy leader Libby Davies.
Some political analysts believe the NDP establishment has been working to wedge Mulcair out of the race because he does not have strong roots in the party.
“They’re worried he might be an opportunist and they style themselves as principled social democrats,” said University of Toronto political scientist Nelson Wiseman.
The federal New Democrats are set to name a new leader at a Toronto convention in March.
Other potential leadership hopefuls could include Peggy Nash, Manitoba’s Niki Ashton and Nova Scotia’s Robert Chisholm.
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This leadership race is about picking the person who is best placed to beat Stephen Harper in the next election. In order to defeat Stephen Harper we have to work on breakthroughs elsewhere while maintaining our support here in Quebec.
Comment: This is one tough and abrasive SOB. The HarperCONS would have their hands full with him as he is a smart, no nonsence, take no prisoners kind of guy, who stands up and fights for what he believes in. He would definately be the peoples champion, as he has demonstrated on the front lines countless times already.
When he wins (and I believe he will) get ready for some fireworks… for there definately will be fireworks!
With realization of one’s own potential and self confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.