OTTAWA — The federal NDP leadership race will likely get new candidates in coming days, with veteran MP Charlie Angus expected to make an announcement this weekend.
Angus is inviting supporters on Facebook to gather on Sunday at a tavern in Toronto, where he has "deep roots," to get involved in a "fantastic and wild ride."
He also says there will be a few speeches during the event that will also include musician Jason Collett.
Angus, first elected in 2004, is an outspoken advocate for indigenous communities, including Attawapiskat First Nation — a reserve in his riding of Timmins-James Bay that garnered international headlines for a series of youth suicides.
NDP MP Charlie Angus has invited supporters to get involved in what he says will be a "fantastic and wild ride." (Photo: The Canadian Press)
In a statement, Angus would only say he will be in Kirkland Lake, Ont. on Thursday to meet supporters, adding there are exciting days ahead for the NDP.
The party is trying to rebuild itself after tumbling in the last election to third-party status in the House of Commons from official Opposition.
"What I've heard from members and supporters is a clear and hopeful vision for our party and our country and a consistent message that they're fired up to get there," Angus said.
First debate to be held in March
Quebec MP Guy Caron is also expected to make a decision about running before Tuesday.
The economist recently stepped aside as the party's finance critic to mull a leadership bid.
"I can tell you it's looking good and stay tuned for the next few days," a source close to Caron said Wednesday.
The race to replace Tom Mulcair as NDP leader won't conclude until fall, but the first debate among leadership hopefuls is slated for March 12 in Ottawa.
"I can tell you it's looking good and stay tuned for the next few days."
So far, only B.C. MP Peter Julian has entered the race.
Earlier this week, Julian received endorsements from four Quebec MPs —Pierre-Luc Dusseault, Robert Aubin, Brigitte Sansoucy and Francois Choquette — at a rally held in Sherbrooke, Que.
Julian, a bilingual candidate, suggests Quebec and B.C. share similar values, including the need to protect the environment and fight against pipelines.
Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and deputy Ontario NDP leader Jagmeet Singh are also eyeing possible leadership campaigns.
Ashton was a candidate in the 2012 leadership race won by Mulcair.
Last April, rank-and-file New Democrats flatly rejected Mulcair as party leader at a convention held in Edmonton.
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