The text of a note Paul Dewar sent to NDP MPs on Wednesday.
Thankfully, the end of our marathon leadership race is near. On March 24th our party will present a new face to Canadians and embark on a new direction. The choice we make will shape the future development of our party, its values and principles. It will also shape how we operate as a caucus. Before you all cast your votes, I want to tell you how I would lead our caucus.
Jack built a house based on consensus and consultation with each of us and, as leader, I would follow the same path. For me, caucus solidarity is crucial and something we must all understand and abide by to the best of our abilities. It is something a leader must work on by meeting and listening in groups and individually to each and every one of you.
I also want to be clear that I believe that difference of opinion held within caucus is natural. I am not interested in punishing colleagues for minor transgressions over policy. Rather, we must accept that our differences in opinion are valuable learning experiences and not reasons to divide us. Our party is a big tent, even more so since the last election, and what is important is that we, as a caucus, stick to a vision that encompasses our social democratic values and principles.
While our party is a big tent, it is you, as elected members, who are directly answerable to your constituents for the decisions we make as a caucus. I am committed to ensuring it is you, with all the research we have available, who will make those final decisions for caucus.
I am committed to building the grassroots of our party. But more than ever, that means ensuring that your ridings receive the organizational, communications and fundraising resources necessary to maintain the gains we have made. Without the per vote subsidy we cannot expect to run effective national campaigns without strong on-the-ground organizations. Organizing will be a priority for me as I expect it will be a priority for all of us.
Your role in building on our gains and taking the necessary next steps to forming government is crucial. With a caucus more diverse and representative of Canada, than any in the past, it is a great opportunity for our new MPs to reach outside of their regions and sell our values to the rest of the country. I want us to do this.
I know the concerns about my French and my ability to connect with Quebecers. I speak French, and my capacity to speak to francophones across Canada will only get better. Yet, my capacity to listen to them is already strong and what I hear them saying is that they want to be part of a Canada that reflects their values.
Like me, Quebecers believe in greater social and economic equality, personal liberty, and environmental justice. They believe in a cosmopolitan and confident nation with joie de vivre and deep compassion in equal measure.
Quebec is a strong, optimistic society, one that is ready to lead with ideas that will benefit all of Canada.
That is the proposition we shared in the May election, the message I have heard from Quebecers in this campaign and one I will take forward as leader of this party.
Finally, let me say that, whether I win or not, I will embody the kind of caucus leadership that Jack showed us. I will work to keep our party united, reach out to provide assistance and mentorship to my colleagues and fight to protect and promote our social democratic values.