All are welcome to attend and hear speeches from potential candidates as well as special guest speaker, Peter Stoffer, MP for Sackville—Eastern Shore. Anyone who has been an NDP member for at least 30 days prior will have the opportunity to cast their ballot to decide who will challenge the Harper Conservatives in October’s federal election.
"We're very excited. This is absolutely unprecedented," notes Dave Parker, former NDP candidate and President of the electoral district association. "For the first time in recent history, Central Nova does not have an incumbent; it's anybody's game. And for the first time ever, the NDP is in a real position to form the next government of Canada. Whoever wins this nomination could well be a part of making history in Central Nova and the country."
Two candidates have been approved to stand for nomination. Long-time Antigonish resident and social activist Katherine Reed was the first to throw her hat into the ring. She was later joined by Ross Landry of Pictou, former Nova Scotia Justice Minister and RCMP officer.
NDP hopeful Graham Murray has suspended his bid for the nomination.
"I was geared up for the vote on the 26th, but unfortunately was not vetted in time," says Murray. "With the advance polls looming, there wasn't enough time awaiting the vetting procedures from Ottawa."
The NDP is now neck-and-neck with Stephen Harper's Conservatives in the national polls. Their platform includes helping seniors by lowering the retirement age and improving CPP, taking action on climate change by investing in clean and renewable energy, helping young families by providing universal child care, and shifting tax relief away from the wealthy and back towards the middle class.