NDP prepares to name new face to lead federal party into next election

OTTAWA — One of four NDP hopefuls could become the federal party’s new leader as early as Sunday. Here’s a look at those running for the party’s top job:

Ontario legislature member Jagmeet Singh

Singh, a 38-year-old turbaned Sikh, holds the provincial riding of Bramble—Gore—Malton. He was elected to the Ontario legislature in 2011 and served as his party’s deputy leader from 2015 up until his May decision to run for the federal leadership. Before entering political life, Singh worked as a criminal defence lawyer. He is also a mixed martial arts fighter and a fashion enthusiast. As part of a criminal justice platform, Singh has called for a federal ban on racial profiling. He says he knows first-hand what it’s like to be racially profiled during arbitrary street checks, often known as “carding.”

Ontario MP Charlie Angus

Angus, 54, has represented the federal riding of Timmins—James Bay since 2004. He has spent his political career advocating on social issues including workers’ rights, the need to improve education and services for Indigenous children and a national palliative care strategy. He also served as the national caucus chair for the NDP until he stepped aside to consider running for the leadership. He has called for the creation of a federal ombudsman who would have the legal authority to order government departments to comply with policies aimed at improving child welfare.

Manitoba MP Niki Ashton

Ashton, 35, was first elected as the MP for her Churchill, Man., riding in 2008. Since then, she has served in various critic portfolios including Aboriginal affairs, status of women, post-secondary education and youth and jobs and employment. She is well-known for her advocacy on so-called “precarious work” and how it affects millennials. Ashton has also been vocal about the need to improve living conditions for northerners and Indigenous Peoples. She was born and raised in Thompson, Man. During the race, Ashton has put forward proposals including the need to expand the Canada Health Act to include dental care.

Quebec MP Guy Caron

Caron, a 49-year old former economist, worked for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada before he launched his political career. He was elected in the Quebec riding of Rimouski-Neigette—Temiscouata—Les Basques in 2011. Caron has said he is well-positioned to rebuild support in his home province, where the NDP holds 16 seats. He has also pitched policies including a taxable supplement that would help Canadians whose income levels fall below a standard minimum threshold, determined in part by the size of their family and the city they live in. He says the idea is designed to complement existing provincial and federal social programs, not replace them.

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