Caron joins NDP race
The ho-hum New Democrat leadership race got a little more competitive Monday as Quebec MP Guy Caron became the third candidate to officially declare that he wants to be the one to succeed Tom Mulcair.
The competition, which got off to a slow start in part because of an extended goodbye from Mulcair, has been slowly gaining momentum in recent weeks, with B.C. MP Peter Julian and northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus entering the fray.
Caron, a former economist who hopes to position himself as a would-be leader with financial acumen, announced his plans alongside his wife and two children at a news conference at a log cabin in Gatineau, Que.
Caron said the location holds a special place in his heart: it’s where late New Democrat leader Jack Layton held a campaign event in 2011 - the same year Caron became one of 59 MPs from Quebec elected as part of the NDP’s so-called “Orange Wave.”
Caron - who worked for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada before launching a political career - also unveiled his first campaign plank Monday: a basic income program, an age-old concept aimed at reducing dependence on social programs. “Traditional economic plans of yesteryear that promised one thing and result in another is no longer acceptable,” Caron said. “Our citizens are asking for more and frankly, they deserve not only better, but the best we can give them.”
He said plans to spend the week connecting with supporters in Ottawa, Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec City and his home town of Rimouski, Que.
As the only Quebec candidate in the race so far, Caron is well-positioned to speak about rebuilding support in his home province, where the NDP holds 16 seats.
Toronto and Atlantic Canada will also be key areas for growth, he said Monday.
“As a Quebecer who grew up in Rimouski, who lived in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto in the past, I am well-placed to actually be able do that work that will be needed to ensure that the NDP will regain its strength coast-tocoast,” he said.
NDP MP Guy Caron announces that he will run for the leadership of the New Democratic Party, on Monday in Gatineau, Que.