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Friday, January 27, 2012

Veteran MPs Mathyssen and Gravelle endorse Paul Dewar for leader

Veteran MPs Mathyssen and Gravelle endorse Paul Dewar for leader
January 27th, 2012

Momentum grows for Dewar as he picks up two more big endorsements

OTTAWA—Today two more senior Ontario MPs and members of the NDP shadow cabinet, London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen and Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle, endorsed Paul Dewar for leader of the NDP.

“I took my time in this leadership race. I watched all the candidates and made the decision that Paul is the leader with the skills to grow our party in new regions across the country,” said Mathyssen. “Paul has the experience that counts: in the community, in Parliament, and on the international stage. You can tell he gets people and people get him”.

Irene Mathyssen is a former teacher and Ontario MPP. Irene has served as the Member of Parliament for the riding of London-Fanshawe since 2006. Under Jack Layton, she was named the Official Opposition critic for seniors in the spring of 2011 after serving as the Status of Women critic for five years. She is currently the chair of Standing Committee on the Status of Women and sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee. She has previously served as the chair of the NDP’s women’s caucus and as the vice-chair of the Status of Women Committee.

Claude Gravelle was first elected to Parliament in 2008 in the Northern Ontario riding of Nickel Belt. Gravelle is a Franco-Ontarian, a steelworker, and under Jack Layton, the NDP critic for La Francophonie as well as Mining and FedNor. He is the Chair of the NDP Northern Caucus and the Natural Resources critic in the NDP shadow cabinet.

“I’ve worked side by side with Paul in caucus. He knows how to bring people together – regardless of differences of opinion. That’s a great strength in a leader,” said Gravelle. “Paul has the vision and he is thinking ahead. He knows that if he wins the leadership, the real work begins to win the next 70 seats and he is laying the foundations now. That’s what I want in a leader”.

For Dewar these endorsements are proof that his campaign is building momentum.

“I am honored to have the support of Irene and Claude. They are two close colleagues and friends, and my team is better with them on board,” said Dewar. “Irene has been one of the strongest advocates for women’s issues ever in our party and she brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to whatever she takes on. Claude has proven himself a stalwart in our party. He is strategic, hard working, and he knows how to get things done. I am honored that MPs of their caliber have put their trust in me.”

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