Caron joins NDP race

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

CP PHOTO

NDP MP Guy Caron an­nounces that he will run for the lead­er­ship of the New Demo­cratic Party, on Mon­day in Gatineau, Que.

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