Fed­eral NDP hope­fuls tar­get Bri­tish Columbia as fer­tile ground for growth

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

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.

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