Federal NDP hopefuls target British Columbia as fertile ground for growth
Federal NDP leadership hopefuls will make a critical pitch tonight to supporters in British Columbia _ a province where party members are finding renewed hope after the swearingin of NDP Premier John Horgan.
Ontario legislator Jagmeet Singh, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and Quebec MP Guy Caron will go head-to-head in Victoria, though Ontario MP Charlie Angus is unable to attend the event due to a serious illness in his family.
The debate comes at a key time for all of the candidates as they strive to sign up as many party members as possible before a registration cutoff on Aug. 17.
The location for the event _ decided before the outcome of the recent provincial election _ is also significant for all contenders who see B.C. as fertile ground for the party.
Peggy Nash, a former Toronto NDP MP and 2012 leadership candidate, acknowledged Horgan’s win was “razor thin’’ but said it is very exciting for the party as it tries to rebuild from a 2015 federal election disappointment.
“Whenever you win, people get excited,’’ she said.
“Winning is way better than losing, so I think that it will be an encouragement and it gives you more resources, too. It means out in B.C. right now they will hiring young activists to come and be part of the new government administration.’’
Singh’s campaign appears to be resonating with politicians in British Columbia, where he has earned the support of eight provincial legislators and four B.C. MPs including, most recently, Alistair MacGregor, the caucus justice critic.