NDP MP Peter Julian is stepping down from his job as the party’s House leader to focus on a potential bid to succeed Tom Mulcair.
Julian said he will have discussions with people across the country before deciding if he will formally enter the race.
“I’m inspired by New Democrats, I’m inspired by Canadians, and I’m looking forward to those conversations,” he said.
Party members rejected Mulcair’s leadership at a convention in Edmonton in April, voting 52 per cent to 48 in favour of a leadership review. The caucus agreed to keep him on as caretaker leader until a replacement is chosen next fall. So far, no one has officially declared a run for the leadership.
The next NDP leader’s primary role will be to rebuild the party after last year’s crushing electoral defeat.
The NDP has struggled with sagging support and flagging fundraising since the Liberal government was elected a year ago.
Polls in September put the NDP’s support at between 9 and 12 per cent.
Julian, who was first elected in 2004 to represent the British Columbia riding of Burnaby–New Westminster, is bilingual and has served as the party’s critic for portfolios that include energy, natural resources and finance.
B.C. MP Murray Rankin will take over the post of NDP House leader. That role comes with an annual salary bump of $16,800.