Author and journalist Linda McQuaig has jumped into the race for the NDP nomination in Toronto Centre, adding another media personality to the mix of hopefuls to fill the seat vacated by Liberal Bob Rae.
McQuaig will be facing Jennifer Hollett, a former MuchMusic and CBC-TV host, in what will likely be a hard-fought contest for the NDP nomination. Hollett announced her interest two weeks ago.
McQuaig says on her website that the issues she cares about are:
- Countering income inequality and the austerity agenda.
- Protecting and enhancing our public programs.
- Tackling climate change and other environmental threats.
- Returning Canada to a constructive role in the world.
She adds that she felt it was time to turn advocacy into action, and decided to run. In an interview Tuesday with CBC News in Toronto, McQuaig said she was motivated because she feels the Harper government is "fading" due to recent scandals, and voters are looking for an alternative.
"If we move towards Justin Trudeau under the Liberals, I think what you'll end up with a party that will say anything to get elected — they'll even sound progressive at times — but when they actually get in power they end up being the party of corporate Canada. And I think it could dangerously end up being a continuation of the Harper government," McQuaig said.
McQuaig's entry into the NDP race comes a week after Chrystia Freeland, also an author and journalist, announced she will seek the Liberal nod.
McQuaig is a Toronto Star columnist who formerly worked for the Globe and Mail and Maclean's magazine. Her books include Shooting the Hippo, which attacked the Liberal government's slashing of social programs to reduce the deficit, and It's the Crude, Dude, which examined the connection between America's dependence of foreign oil and its invasion of Iraq.
Her latest book, The Trouble with Billionaires: How the Super-Rich Hijacked the World and How We Can Take It Back, is not unlike, in title at least, a recent book by Freeland, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.
Both books chronicle the staggering wealth of the modern-day monied elite, and if the two authors win opposing nominations, the yet-to-be-called byelection will have an interesting dimension.
Besides Freeland, two others are competing for the Liberal nomination for Toronto Centre. Todd Ross, a former assistant to former Ontario cabinet minister George Smitherman, and Diana Burke, a senior bank executive.
The riding, which covers well-heeled Rosedale as well as Regent Park, the oldest public housing estate in Canada, and the Church-Wellesley gay village, has been represented by Liberals for a decade.
McQuaig, who has a 22-year-old daughter, says she is Toronto-born and has lived in her current residence in Toronto Centre for 13 years.