Ex-Liberal MLA Abel LeBlanc will run for NDP

Former Saint John Liberal MLA Abel LeBlanc will run for the NDP in the Sept. 22 election.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says LeBlanc is 'precisely' the type of person the NDP wants to recruit

Former Saint John Lancaster Liberal MLA Abel LeBlanc is joining the New Democratic Party and will run for the party in the Sept. 22 election.

Earlier this year, LeBlanc's close friend Ivan Court, the former mayor of Saint John, lost a bid for the Liberal nomination in LeBlanc's old riding.

Now LeBlanc is joining the NDP and will carry their banner into the next provincial election in the riding of Saint John Lancaster.

LeBlanc was first elected as a Liberal in 2003 and was re-elected in 2006. He lost to Progressive Conservative Dorothy Shephard in 2010.

He often described himself as a friend of the down-and-out, something he often said was lacking among elected politicians.

LeBlanc, a former president of the longshoremen's union at the Saint John port, may be best remembered for his temper, including one outburst involving his middle finger when Progressive Conservative MLAs were mocking him.

"I'll walk outside with anyone of yas. Don't ever laugh at me. Yes, I gave you that and I'll give you that again, and I'll give you this if you want to go outside. You're a punk!" LeBlanc said.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy said LeBlanc is "precisely" the type of person his party is seeking.

“Anyone who knows Abel knows he is a man of strong personal convictions and someone who works tirelessly for the people in his constituency,” Cardy said in a statement.

Former Liberal cabinet minister Kelly Lamrock previously announced that he was joining the NDP.

He is the party’s candidate in the riding of Fredericton South.

The NDP was in third position in the latest Corporate Research Associates poll.

The Liberals were picked by 53 per cent of decided voters as the party they would cast a ballot for if the election were held today, followed by the Progressive Conservatives at 28 per cent, the NDP at 16 per cent and the Green Party at three per cent.

The People’s Alliance remained with zero per cent support and the number of undecided voters was 33 per cent, according to the CRA poll.