By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
OTTAWA– One of the MP’s backing NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp dismissed Romeo Saganash’s ability to get support from party members outside Quebec.
Saganash, Quebec MP for Abitibi-Baie James-Nunavik-Eeyou, is the only other declared candidate so far in the early stages of the NDP leadership race.
Quebec MP Alain Giguere said Friday he didn’t think Saganash could grow support outside his home province.
“I don’t see (it). No, I don’t’ see (it),” said Giguere, who is MP for Marc-Aurele-Fortin. “But I presume he has support.”
Giguere levelled the same criticism against NDP MP Thomas Mulcair, the party’s deputy leader who has yet declared to run.
Many see Mulcair as a potential top candidate in the race to replace Jack Layton, who died in late August.
On Friday morning, Topp, a long-time party backroom strategist and presumed frontrunner, introduced Giguere and veteran New Brunswick NDP MP Yvon Godin, from the riding of Acadie-Bathurst, as his latest declared backers.
Topp has already rolled out several high profile backers including former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow and former federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent.
Quebec NDP MP Francoise Boivin, a former Liberal MP from the Gatineau riding, has also declared support for Topp.
Saganash already has the support of Abitibi-Temiscamingue NDP MP Christine Moore.
Saganash’s camp could not immediately be reached for comment, but he told APTN this week he planned to increase his support far beyond his home province’s borders.
“I’ll get to British Columbia, I’ll get to Alberta, I’ll get to the other provinces,” said Saganash, a former high-profile Cree leader.
Saganash also said he expected some fellow MPs in the NDP caucus to back his run.
“There are people that support me in this caucus and they’ll come out,” said Saganash.