10/04/2011 05:05 EDT | Updated 12/04/2011 05:12 EST

NDP's Horwath ready for close-up during northern Ontario campaign swing

SUDBURY, Ont. - NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had a few distractions when she rallied her troops in the north on Tuesday.

Horwath appeared at a campaign office in Sudbury surrounded by several New Democrat MPs and provincial candidates, but noted that Gilles Bisson, the provincial NDP member for Timmins-James Bay, was not in attendance.

His absence was conspicuous since Bisson is well known as an advocate for the north.

"We're missing a particular northener today," Horwath said.

"Mr. Bisson, our MPP for Timmins-James Bay, became a grandfather this morning to his third grandchild. His youngest daughter had her first daughter this morning and so he couldn't be with us today."

"He did send me a text saying he wishes he could be here, but he is kind of happy where he is right now," Horwath added.

As the NDP leader went on to speak to those gathered, she was interrupted by a little boy who kept running up to the podium trying to take a photo.

Eventually, the persistent young shutterbug got his shot and went around the podium to Horwath's side to show her the result.

"You got a picture of us? Thank you! Look at that, that's perfect," Horwath said.

She finished her remarks, then knelt down next to the podium so the boy could snap a close-up.