TORONTO – A veteran member of the Ontario legislature will become the first official candidate for leader of the federal New Democratic Party.
Cheri DiNovo told The Canadian Press on Monday night that she will declare her candidacy to replace Tom Mulcair as federal NDP leader in an announcement in her Toronto riding Tuesday morning.
DiNovo did not want to speak further about her candidacy in a brief phone conversation, saying she wants the media to attend her announcement at the Roncesvalles United Church so she can ‘flesh it out’ for everyone. It’s not clear if she will immediately resign her seat in the provincial legislature.
DiNovo, a United Church minister, was first elected in a 2006 byelection, taking Toronto’s inner-city Parkdale-High Park riding from the Liberals when Gerard Kennedy resigned to run federally.
She is a champion of social justice issues, campaigning successfully to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include gender identity and expression, and introducing a bill to give same sex couples the same parental rights as male-female couples.
DiNovo also convinced the Liberal government to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to recognize post-traumatic stress disorder as being work-related for police, firefighters and paramedics, after introducing four separate private members’ bills over seven years.
She was critical of the Ontario New Democrats for moving too far to the political centre in an attempt to get votes in the 2014 provincial election, and was one of the first to openly call for Mulcair’s resignation following the NDP’s third-place finish in the 2015 federal campaign.
There are no other declared candidates to replace Mulcair, who announced his resignation in May after 52 per cent of delegates at the New Democrats’ post-election convention in Edmonton voted for a leadership review.
The voting to select the new NDP leader will take place in the fall of 2017.
In order to run, would be candidates will be required to provide a registration fee of $30,000 while the spending cap has been set at $1.5 million.