A northern Ontario NDP Member of Parliament says he expects to announce early in the new year whether he will seek the leadership of the federal party.

Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus is pondering a run at the party's top job, which is expected to be finalized by October, 2017.

Angus, who stepped aside as the NDP's caucus chair and Indigenous Affairs critic in November, said he has to speak with constituents in his riding before making a final decision.

"I had to come back to the people of northern Ontario. I had to come to the people who elected me," he told CBC News.

"So I'm having meetings in my region to talk with the people who voted for me to see what they think, because first of all, I work for them."

So far, Angus said, he's getting a lot of support from across northern Ontario, but said he needs to make sure there's enough to launch a leadership bid.

"Once we've done that, and see if we can put together a team across Canada, then we will make a decision about whether or not I should be the candidate," he said.

"So, I think the listeners will be able to know sometime in the early new year."