An­gus’s lead­er­ship run ap­proaches end

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - NEWS - EMMA MELDRUM

Fed­eral lead­er­ship can­di­dates for the new demo­cratic party can fi­nally see the home stretch.

On­line vot­ing opens on mon­day, the same day that mailin bal­lots have to be sent in.

the next step is a show­case in hamil­ton, where the four re­main­ing can­di­dates will have 22 min­utes to sway vot­ers.

the first bal­lot re­sults will be an­nounced on Oct. 1 in toronto, the sec­ond bal­lot in mon­treal on Oct. 8, and the third bal­lot in Ot­tawa on Oct. 15.

For Charlie an­gus, mp for tim­mins-james bay, this means one fi­nal push to get out the vote.

“this is where the rub­ber hits the road,” said an­gus on tues­day. “We’re pulling votes cross-coun­try right now.”

an­gus said he’s fo­cused on a pos­i­tive cam­paign – a mes­sage he’ll bring to the cap­i­tal if he’s elected leader of the ndp.

“i’m not go­ing to Ot­tawa to bash (prime min­is­ter) Justin trudeau.”

in­stead, an­gus would fo­cus on work­ing with him. he’d also con­tinue to work with can­di­dates Guy Caron and niki ash­ton (Jag­meet singh is an mpp with the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly of On­tario).

“i have the ut­most re­spect for my col­leagues,” said an­gus. “peo­ple have talked about how we treat each other with re­spect, and it’s been a cam­paign of ideas, which i find is a pos­i­tive al­ter­na­tive to some of the kind of pol­i­tics we see in this coun­try, and it’s the kind of pol­i­tics i want to bring to Ot­tawa.”

if an­gus wins the race – which he de­scribed as “ridicu­lously long” – he’s al­ready got a tran­si­tion team he’s talk­ing with to stay fo­cused on get­ting re­sults in par­lia­ment while work­ing to­wards the elec­tion.

If he loses, it’s back to work for the con­stituents of tim­mins-james bay.

“If i’m not suc­cess­ful, i have learned a great deal on this cam­paign. i feel that i’ve han­dled my­self with the dig­nity and re­spon­si­bil­ity of pub­lic of­fice.”

Jag­meet singh made head­lines most re­cently for re­spond­ing calmly to a heck­ler who ac­cused him of be­ing an is­lamic ex­trem­ist.

Singh is sikh, but he chose to em­pha­size a wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment, telling the heck­ler, “We love you, we sup­port you.”

Guy Caron, mean­while, was elected dur­ing the 2011 “orange wave” caused by then-leader Jack lay­ton. he pledged that elec­toral re­form will be the first act of his gov­ern­ment.

Niki ash­ton – a mul­ti­lin­gual man­i­to­ban who is due to give birth to twins in novem­ber – is call­ing for jus­tice for in­dige­nous peo­ples, an elim­i­na­tion of tu­ition fees and an end to the op­pres­sion of racial com­mu­ni­ties in Canada.

An­gus said the big­gest thing he’s learned from the cam­paign, which he kicked off in Fe­bru­ary, was that the coun­try has so much po­ten­tial.

“But what i’ve also learned is there’s a grow­ing un­cer­tainty, be­cause peo­ple find the eco­nomic re­al­i­ties of mas­sive lev­els of stu­dent debt, the down­siz­ing of work, the per­pet­ual … econ­omy that peo­ple are be­ing thrust into, they’re look­ing to Ot­tawa to have their back, and Ot­tawa is very dis­con­nected from the real economies of or­di­nary peo­ple.”

Charlie An­gus

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