Quebec MP Guy Caron becomes third candidate in federal NDP leadership race

Quebec MP Guy Caron becomes third candidate in federal NDP leadership race

NDP MP Guy Caron stands with his son Dominic, 8, daughter Edith, 5, and wife Valerie Stansfield as he announces that he will run for the leadership of the New Democratic Party, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 in Gatineau, Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang.

GATINEAU, Que. — Quebec MP Guy Caron has joined the race to lead the NDP, bringing to three the number of candidates so far in the race to succeed Tom Mulcair.

Caron, an economist who is positioning himself as a contender with financial smarts, made the announcement Monday at a log cabin in Gatineau, Que.

He chose the location because it was the scene of a campaign event by late NDP leader Jack Layton in 2011, the same year Caron was first elected to the House of Commons as part of the so-called “Orange Wave” in Quebec.

On Monday, Caron also unveiled the first plank of his plan, proposing to establish a basic income for all Canadians.

He plans to spend the week making stops in Ottawa, Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec City and his home town of Rimouski, Que.

It’s critical to the electoral fortunes of the NDP to rebuild support in Quebec, where the party currently holds just 16 seats, Caron said. Toronto and Atlantic Canada will also be key areas for growth, he added.

“As a Quebecer who grew up in Rimouski, who lived in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto in the past, I am well-placed to actually be able do that work that will be needed to ensure that the NDP will regain its strength coast-to-coast.”

The race to replace Mulcair, which got off to the slowest of starts, has been gaining steam in recent weeks, with northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus and B.C. MP Peter Julian also in the running.

A leadership debate is scheduled for March 12 in Ottawa.

Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and deputy Ontario NDP leader Jagmeet Singh are also said to be considering a bid.

A new leader is scheduled to be chosen by the end of October.

—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press
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