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Available Expert - NDP Leadership race begins

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Queen's University professor Christo Aivalis is available to comment on the announcement that veteran Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo has declared her candidacy for the leadership of the New Democratic Party. Ms. DiNovo, the first declared candidate in the race, stated that she will run on a platform of social justice, an “aggressive and realistic response ot the climate crisis," "an end to systemic racism," and "truly universal and free” post-secondary education, dental care and pharmacare. 

"Ms. DiNovo is a pretty high-profile entrant," says Dr. Aivalis. "Though not a federal party member, she has been in the Ontario Legislature for nearly a decade, where she has been noted for passing legislation aimed at helping poor and LGBTQ Ontarians. She is also tied to the party's Christian socialist tradition and has been a left activist since the 1960s. From being a student protester in the 1960s, to officiating Canada's first legal gay marriage, DiNovo has been a pioneer on many causes and has won multi-partisan support for many of here efforts at Queen's Park."

Dr. Aivalis says that, while her strong recognizability in the GTA and Ontario is an asset, Ms. DiNovo's ability to appeal to Quebec voters is largely unknown at this point. Further, her recent direct criticism of the federal NDP after the 2015 election might give more moderate party members pause.

Dr. Aivalis is an adjunct professor of Canadian political and labour history at Queen's University. 

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