A statement released just now by NDP MP Peter Julian.
Over the past few weeks I have been consulting with activists in the NDP family about the possibility of running for leadership of our Party. I left the door open to that possibility while I talked extensively with New Democrats in our federal caucus and party, the labour, social, and environmental movements and civil society.
I feel I have consulted widely and have come to the point of making a decision. I will not be a candidate for leadership at our Convention in March, 2012.
Like many other New Democrats, I have been asking myself and others how best to continue the legacy of Jack Layton as we move forward to government in 2015. I have decided that my role is to continue my work as Interim Caucus Chair at this key point in our history and, as Industry Critic, to continue our work with the other significant economic roles in our shadow cabinet to put in place strong alternatives to the current government on jobs and the economy.
I have many people to thank for speaking with me and offering their advice and support over the last month.
I would like to thank my constituents in Burnaby-New Westminster and elected representatives at all levels in the cities I represent for their strong support and encouragement. As a proud British Columbian, their support meant a great deal to me.
I thank five federal caucus members who publicly urged me to run and other MP’s who were encouraging me to enter the race.
I thank the many activists in Quebec who were encouraging me – an Anglophone from British Columbia – to run for leadership. I deeply appreciate their confidence in me.
I thank activists from across the country in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, the Prairies, the North, and of course BC, for their positive phone calls, e-mails, and postings.
And I particularly appreciate the support of my family through this period. My fiancee, Limei Tian, has been extremely supportive on this difficult decision.
For all those entering the race, I have a final thought.
Canada is, increasingly, a society where greater and greater disparities exist. People with Disabilities, Aboriginal People, New Canadians, and Young Canadians are excluded from a prosperity that touches a smaller and smaller percentage of Canadians. As a movement, I believe our challenge is ensure that we build a Canada where every Canadian counts and no one in our country is left behind. That means engaging with social movements, the labour movement, the environmental movement, the community business sector and excluded, and marginalized groups throughout our country to continue the building of a broad, diverse and solid grass roots movement to win government in 2015.
This is an exciting time in our movement’s history. I am confident for the future.
We have terrific candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds in this leadership race. Some have already entered. Others should be entering shortly. It is my hope that we have a particularly strong number of women candidates in the race.
I look forward to hearing the debates and discussions.