B.C. MP Peter Julian to announce NDP leadership candidacy

B.C. MP Peter Julian is expected to announce his intentions to run for leadership of the NDP later today, making him the first to come forward since the party voted to dump Thomas Mulcair and seek a new leader last spring.

The announcement is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. PT at the Columbia Theatre in New Westminster. 

Julian, the MP for New Westminster-Burnaby, stepped down as NDP House leader to consider the leadership bid last fall. 

The next NDP leader’s primary role will be to rebuild the party after last year’s crushing electoral defeat.

The party has struggled with sagging support and flagging fundraising since the Liberal government was elected in October of 2015.

Polls in September put the NDP’s support at between nine and 12 per cent.

Julian was first elected in 2004 and has served as the party’s critic for portfolios that include energy, natural resources and finance.​

The 53-year-old is fluently bilingual, having attended university in Quebec and serving as the NDP’s provincial secretary for that province in the 1990s.

He mulled — but ultimately decided against — a party leadership run in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party race is well underway, with 14 candidates having come forward so far

The vote on who will replace outgoing federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair will take place in fall 2017, the party’s governing body decided.

Nominations for a leadership convention opened on July 2, 2016 and the new leader will be selected sometime between Sept. 17, 2017 and Oct. 31, 2017. 

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