New Democratic Party members are scheduled to nominate the individual to succeed former party leader Jack Layton in his Toronto-Danforth riding. There are five candidates to vote for during Monday evening's meeting.
In August, New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton passed away, which left an empty seat in the House of Commons. Nearly a half-year later, the party is set to select the nominee to follow in Layton’s footsteps for the Toronto-Danforth federal riding.
On Monday night at 7 p.m., local NDP members will bestow upon the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto to choose one of five candidates to represent the party in the upcoming by-election.
The five candidates are all running for the first time and virtually unknown to the political scene. Justin Duncan, a lawyer; Claire Prashaw, Layton’s former constituency assistant; Ashraf Ali Rao, Craig Scott and Hanif Sheikh are all running for the nomination.
“I think everybody would agree that nobody can replace Jack and I think what we’re all trying to do is be nominated so we can carry on his legacy of social justice and environmental protection,” said Duncan in an interview with CBC News.
From left to right: Peggy Nash, NDP MP, NDP leader Jack Layton, NDP Member of Parliament Olivia Chow and NDP Andrew Cash.
Once the meeting begins, each candidate will be allotted time to deliver a speech prior to the voting process. The winning candidate will need to garner more than 50 percent to secure the nomination. However, if it does not transpire in the first round then the last-place candidate will drop out and the process will start over.
Trinity-Spadina Member of Parliament Olivia Chow and Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton are expected to be in attendance.
John Christopher Recker is the only confirmed candidate for the forthcoming by-election. Recker will be representing the Libertarian Party of Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have until Feb. 26 to announce the date of the by-election.
This comes as eight candidates are vying for the party’s leadership. The candidates include MP Peggy Nash, MP Thomas Mulcair and former NDP president Brian Topp. On Mar. 28, during the leadership convention in Toronto, the party will elect the next leader.