Provincial version of the NDP
Tom Mulcair says Quebecers will get a chance to vote New Democrat in the province's next election.
The NDP leader said Friday the federal party didn't have time to create a Quebec version in time for the current election campaign, which will send Quebecers to the polls on September 4th.
But Mulcair indicated the NDP plans to build a provincial cousin before the next election.
``We think there's a place for us on Quebec's chessboard,'' Mulcair said following a speech to hundreds of university students in Montreal. ``There will be a provincial NDP, but for the next election.''
The former Quebec cabinet minister said there's room for a left-leaning federalist voice on the provincial political landscape.
Mulcair said the NDP runs candidates in all provinces and territories _ and now it aims to eventually have hopefuls in all 125 Quebec ridings.
The NDP's national president reserved the name Nouveau parti democratique du Quebec in June with the province's electoral authority.
The federal New Democrats made a historic breakthrough in Quebec in the 2011 federal election, and now hold 58 of the province's 75 seats.
Mulcair said the party has been encouraged to enter the provincial political scene by its growing base of structural and financial support in Quebec.
The timing just wasn't right during the last year.
``It was inconceivable for us, even though we had lots of pressure from our base of supporters,'' Mulcair said. ``We came out of a year during which we won 103 seats, we moved from the fourth political party to official Opposition and we lost a charismatic leader who worked very hard to get us there.''
Despite the NDP's intention to enter Quebec provincial politics, Mulcair swiftly refused to answer any questions about the ongoing campaign.
``I'm going to be called upon to work with whatever party forms the government,'' he said. ``So you won't hear me as the leader of the official Opposition in Ottawa getting involved in the provincial campaign right now.''