Brian Topp launches leadership bid, pledges to complete Layton's work, "to get the job done"

OTTAWA, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Flanked by former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent and by Gatineau MP Francoise Boivin, Brian Topp today launched his campaign to lead the New Democratic Party of Canada.

Topp pledged to carry on Jack Layton's work by providing Canadians with a progressive national alternative to the Harper government.

"I know that New Democrats can deliver a successful NDP government in both official languages and in every part of the country," said Topp. "A fiscally responsible and economically literate government that offers Canadians hope for a better future."

"That's the work Jack left us to complete, and that's the job I pledge to get done."

Former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent said that Topp has what it takes to take on Stephen Harper and to win the next election.

"I have known Brian for many years. He has that special mix of character and intelligence that is so important in a leader," said Broadbent. "He's a listener and a team player and he knows how to get things done. He will make a great leader of our party."

Topp said his top priority will be to fight the growing inequality in Canada, adding that, "In today's economy we can't afford to waste the talent of a single Canadian."

"Too many young people can't afford an education. Too many families are living from pay check to pay check. Too many seniors can't afford to retire in dignity. And too many children- one in seven - live in poverty."

"The time has come to stop this slide. To work towards a more equal and prosperous country for all Canadians. It's the right thing to do. And it's the smart thing to do."

Born in Longueuil and raised in Montreal, Topp joined the New Democrats under Ed Broadbent. He chaired the NDP's first successful campaign in Quebec and worked in Parliament, before moving to Saskatchewan to join the government of Premier Roy Romanow.

Topp has worked for the credit union system, as a leader in the Labour movement, and at the heart of all four of Jack Layton's national campaigns.

Gatineau MP Francoise Boivin said that Topp has the national experience necessary to lead the NDP.

"Brian is not only fluent in both official languages, he is at home in Quebec and throughout the country. He understands Canada and he understands Quebec. That's key to building our party and winning the next election."

Topp closed by saying, "Together we can honour Jack and his legacy. Together we can build a party and a government that would make him proud. And together, we'll get the job done."

SOURCE Brian Topp

For further information:

Jim Rutkowski (English) 250-812-1741

Thomas Boucher (French) 514-721-5915

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