File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Ontario deputy NDP leader Jagmeet Singh launches his bid for the federal NDP leadership in Brampton, Ont.

NDP contenders square off in Saskatoon

NDP OTTAWA — Four candidates in the running for the NDP’s top job are squaring off in Saskatoon discussing climate change and resource development — a debate that marks the beginning of the homeward stretch in the lengthy race to replace Tom Mulcair in October.

Federal MPs Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron and Ontario legislator Jagmeet Singh are debating each other in a province where the NDP claimed three seats in the last election.

It’s also where the NDP began its work, candidates said in their opening statements.

The Saskatoon event is the only debate scheduled for the Prairies in advance of the party’s fall leadership vote and the candidates are set to face a number of questions of regional interest during the 90-minute discussion.

Climate change was raised as the first question in the debate.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has been a vocal opponent of the federal Liberal government’s plan to put a price on carbon emissions, vowing to take Ottawa to court should the province be forced to adopt the plan.

To help tackle climate change, Singh has pledged to reduce carbon emissions to 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2025 — five years ahead of the current Liberal target.

For his part, Angus has argued for adopting a legislated carbon budget to reduce emissions.

Ashton and Caron have both forcefully opposed the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal to carry oil from Alberta to British Columbia, but have yet to unveil their full climate plans.

Regina New Democrat MP Erin Weir, who has vocalized support for the Alberta NDP government’s income-tested rebate scheme to supplement the province’s carbon tax, says all candidates need to explain how they would help make carbon pricing work for Saskatchewan.

“Emulating this progressive approach would make carbon pricing more palatable in Saskatchewan and other provinces,” Weir said in a statement prior to the debate.

“The federal government, which will collect GST from carbon pricing, (should) provide a direct transfer to lower-income Canadians to help offset carbon costs.”

Ottawa could encourage companies to stay put in Canada by taxing the carbon content of imports while rebating any tax on the carbon content of exports, Weir added.

The debate follows the recent departure from the race of Peter Julian — a veteran B.C. MP who announced last week he was bowing out of the race due to financial reasons ahead of the release of second quarter Elections Canada results later this month.

Julian said he plans to throw his support behind one of the campaigns, adding he will speak with the remaining contenders before making his decision known.

During the Saskatoon event, candidates will answer questions submitted through the party’s website.

There’s also debate of those answers and will have at least two opportunities to ask a question of each other.

Candidates have also been given the option of using a so-called “wild card” for the first time, designed to allow the hopefuls to take the floor to make a statement or rebuttal.

The next NDP leadership debates will happen in August in Victoria and Montreal as well as in Vancouver in September.

Online voting in the leadership race will begin on Sept. 18, with results to be announced in October after each round of balloting.

—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in close vote

CALGARY — Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route… Continue reading

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

TORONTO — One of Canada’s high profile weather forecasters is warning Canadians… Continue reading

Nebraska set to vote today on fate of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

CALGARY — Five commissioners in Nebraska are set to vote today on… Continue reading

Hippie cult leader Charles Manson dead at 83

LOS ANGELES — Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the… Continue reading

Tie new affordable housing money to outcomes, former watchdog tells Liberals

OTTAWA — Parliament’s first budget watchdog is warning the federal government to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month