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Saturday, February 4, 2012

NDP leadership hopefuls converging on Sudbury

NDP leadership hopefuls converging on Sudbury

Feb 03, 2012- 11:48 AM

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff
New Democrats are converging on Sudbury from across Northeastern Ontario to participate in Sunday’s leadership debate. The Northern Ontario Leadership Forum, organized by the Sudbury and Nickel Belt NDP, will feature all eight candidates vying to be the next Leader of the Opposition.

Even as the candidates prepare to travel to the Nickel City, two high profile former MPPs have thrown their support to one of those hopefuls.

Former NDP leader Howard Hampton and former MPP Shelley Martel held a press conference at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto this week to announce that they are backing Thomas Mulcair as the party's next leader.

"Tom is a candidate who can lead us to victory in the next election and begin to reverse the troubling trend set by Liberal and Conservative governments over the last thirty years." Hampton said this week.

Leadership candidates and their teams will be arriving Friday and Saturday to prepare for the debate, and in some cases participating in public or invite-only events.

All eight leadership candidates — Niki Ashton, Nathan Cullen, Paul Dewar, Thomas Mulcair, Peggy Nash, Romeo Saganash, Martin Singh and Brian Topp — are set to participate.

Local and regional media, NDP members, and the general public are invited to attend Sunday’s debate at the United Steelworkers Hall at 66 Brady St. in Sudbury. There is no cost to attend. The event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm.

Sudbury entertainer Stephane Paquette will moderate an upcoming local debate for the eight candidates vying to become the next leader of the federal NDP.

Paquette is best known for his acting roles on the locally-shot TFO television shows Météo+ and Les Bleus de Ramville, although he's also a musician and radio broadcaster.

The federal NDP, the country's official opposition, is choosing a new leader March 24. The leader's seat was left vacant after former leader Jack Layton died of cancer last summer.

Posted by Mark Gentili

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