NDP picks Harry Borlase as candidate for Labrador byelection

The New Democrats have chosen a northern analyst to carry the party banner in the coming Labrador byelection, rejecting a suggestion the party sit this one out.

Harry Borlase was picked in an online vote Sunday for the byelection, which has yet to be called.

Borlase was raised in Nain and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and has worked on northern issues all his life, most recently at C-CORE.

The Labrador seat became vacant when former Conservative cabinet minister Peter Penashue quit this month after Elections Canada found his election campaign had accepted 28 different ineligible donations. He plans to run in the byelection.

Green Leader Elizabeth May says her party will not run a candidate and urged the NDP to follow suit to give the Liberal candidate a better chance. In 2011, Liberal Todd Russell lost to Penashue by 79 votes.

But NDP national director Nathan Rotman said voters should make the call.

”If someone should stand down in this byelection it is Peter Penashue while Elections Canada completes its investigation,” Rotman said in an email.

“The NDP respects the right of Canadians to make a democratic choice — and will ensure they have an opportunity to vote NDP, if they so choose.”