09/07/2011 11:29 EDT | Updated 11/07/2011 05:12 EST

Sheila Copps Wants To Be President Of The Liberal Party

Former Liberal cabinet and deputy prime minister Sheila Copps has officially announced she is throwing her hat in the ring to become President of the Liberal Party.

“There is a danger that we could sink into oblivion but there is also an opportunity that we can position ourselves to really let the Canadian public know that the Liberal party is back. We are alive and we are growing,” Copps said about her decision to run to her local newspaper the Hamilton SpectatorTuesday.

On Wednesday she sent a press release to the press gallery announcing her next move.



(Montreal, Quebec) September 7th, 2011 – The Hon. Sheila Copps today officially announced that she is seeking the presidency of the Liberal Party of Canada. She made the announcement during a guest appearance on the popular Radio Canada television program, “Les Lionnes”.

“I am pleased to announce that I am running for President of the Liberal Party of Canada. There is much work to be done, but I am excited to join my fellow Liberals as we listen, learn and build for the future”, she said.

Sheila, the first female Deputy Prime Minister and a former Minister of Environment and of Heritage, represented the riding of Hamilton East for twenty years. Before her career in federal politics, Sheila served in the Ontario legislature. After active politics, she worked as a journalist, political commentator and author, while helping to support Liberal candidates and causes across the country. She speaks four languages, English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Sheila made the decision to return to active politics after speaking to all former Liberal leaders and consulting Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

“I care deeply about the shape and nature of Canada, a country that embraces compromise and respects differences. Throughout our country's history, the Liberal Party has been at the centre of our collective identity, pragmatically finding a common path to ensure that we didn’t tear ourselves apart on ideological grounds,” says Sheila. “That bridge-building is now at risk. From a prime minister who openly boasts about his wish to destroy the Liberal Party and a newly-invigorated social democratic party that seeks to occupy the left of the political spectrum, the Liberal party must thrive again to ensure the centrist policies that have kept our country balanced and strong.”

There are now at least three declared candidates for the Liberal Party's top job. Former Liberal MP Alexandra Mendes, who was defeated by the NDP on May 2 in Brossard—La Prairie and Kingston and the Islands' Liberal riding president Ron Hartling.

Mendes told The Huffington Post Canada she's running because she wants to use the next four years to help the party in its rebuilding process.

"I love the party to begin with but I absolutely love politics and because when Senator (Grant) Mitchell approached me and told me, you know, if I would run, he would withdraw his candidacy, I thought well okay, if you think I can do the job and that I would be a good person to help with this renewal process — I mean the president of the party has a management role, more than anything...(It's) about community building and that's something I love doing, it's been my whole life," she said.

Liberal Party members will elect a new party president at the Party’s biennial convention in Ottawa on January 13th-15th, 2012.