Thomas Mulcair was chosen as the new leader of the New Democratic Party on the fourth ballot at the NDP’s leadership convention in Toronto on March 24. Mulcair, a former Quebec cabinet minister and current MP for Montreal’s Outremont riding, succeeds Jack Layton, who died last August.
More than 3,000 people attended the heated convention, which saw leadership contenders Paul Dewar, Niki Ashton and Martin Singh drop out after the first ballot. Toronto MP Peggy Nash was eliminated on the second ballot, and BC MP Nathan Cullen was eliminated on the third. Mulcair won over Brian Topp on the final ballot by a margin of 57.2 to 42.8 percent.
Each of the candidates has been supportive of queer rights over the course of the campaign, and Mulcair told Xtra that he’s been an agent of progress on queer rights since his time in Quebec’s National Assembly. By the final ballot, Mulcair had won the endorsements of out gay MPs Philip Toone, Dany Morin and Randall Garrison.
Mulcair has told Xtra that, as prime minister, he would have Canada pull out of the Commonwealth in protest if member states wouldn’t show progress on decriminalizing homosexuality.