POLITICS

Linda McQuaig vies for NDP nomination in Toronto Centre

08/06/2013 01:10 EDT | Updated 10/06/2013 05:12 EDT
Author and journalist Linda McQuaig has jumped into the race for the NDP's nomination for Toronto Centre, in a contest dominated by media personalities.

McQuaig lives in the downtown riding, which was recently vacated by former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae.

McQuaig's announcement Tuesday follows last week's entry into the race by Chrystia Freeland, also an author and journalist.

McQuaig says on her website that the issues she cares about are:

- Countering income inequality and the austerity agenda.

- Protecting and enhancing our public programs.

- Tackling climate change and other environmental threats.

- Returning Canada to a constructive role in the world.

She adds that she felt it was time to turn advocacy into action, and decided to run.

McQuaig is a Toronto Star columnist who formerly worked for the Globe and Mail and Maclean's magazine. Her books include Shooting the Hippo, which attacked the Liberal government's slashing of social programs to reduce the deficit, and It's the Crude, Dude, which examined the connection between America's dependence of foreign oil and its invasion of Iraq.

Her latest book, The Trouble with Billionaires: How the Super-Rich Hijacked the World and How We Can Take It Back, is not unlike, in title at least, a recent book by Freeland, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.

Both books chronicle the staggering wealth of the modern-day monied elite, and if the two authors win opposing nominations, the yet-to-be-called byelection will have an interesting dimension.

Todd Ross, a former assistant to former Ontario cabinet minister George Smitherman, is the only candidate running so far for the Liberal nomination in Toronto Centre.

The riding, which covers well-heeled Rosedale, as well as Regent Park, the oldest public housing estate in Canada and the Church-Wellesley gay village, has been represented by Liberals for a decade.

In what will likely be a hard-fought contest for the NDP nomination. McQuaig will be facing Jennifer Hollett, a former MuchMusic and CBC-TV host, who announced her interest two weeks ago.

McQuaig, who has a 22-year-old daughter, says she is Toronto-born and has lived in her current residence in Toronto Centre for 13 years.