TORONTO – Montreal MP Thomas Mulcair was elected leader of the Official Opposition 9:00pm Saturday, in a dramatic NDP Leadership Convention in Toronto. Mulcair won the support of a majority of New Democratic Party Members after four rounds of voting at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.
“This is an interesting time to be a New Democrat,” said Bruce Hyer MP (Thunder Bay-Superior North). “There were many great candidates in this race. The choice wasn’t easy. I am very pleased that Tom has been elected leader by a majority of voting members.”
The NDP Leader was elected using a multi-round preferential ballot, with seven candidates going into convention. Mr. Mulcair won 57.2% of the vote in an often surprising race where almost 5,000 NDP members voted live at the Convention, while nearly 65,000 voted online across Canada. The vote was slowed significantly by a “denial of service attack” on the election server by as-yet unknown hackers, though the integrity of the vote was maintained.
“Tom will make a fine Leader, and eventually Prime Minister. He has the leadership skills to unite and grow the party while holding Stephen Harper to account,” noted Hyer. “Throughout the leadership race, he has run a positive campaign and has connected with people coast to coast, not just Quebeckers. No other federalist is as well-positioned to defend national unity, and the progressive values which a majority of Canadians hold.”
Mulcair was Hyer’s second choice in the hotly contested race. Hyer supported BC MP Nathan Cullen, and has repeatedly stated that a Cullen-Mulcair or Mulcair-Cullen team of Leader and Deputy Leader would provide both east-west and urban-rural balance. “I hope that Tom will ask Nathan to serve as his Deputy. Both have indicated that they want to broaden the NDP base to represent a wider range of Canadians, including small businesspeople across the country. That team would be Mr. Harper’s worst nightmare, and will take us to government in 2015.”
“Today, New Democrats have chosen to build a better NDP for the future, instead of looking in the rear-view mirror,” said Hyer. “Tom is both pragmatic and passionate.He understands that as a party we must move forward. Canada cannot afford an unchecked Stephen Harper. I am looking forward to working with Tom to build a better Canada for all.”
The NDP leader has chosen Libby Davis, a Vancouver MP as his deputy leader.