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Topp gets Burnaby MLA support in NDP leadership race

Two Burnaby New Democrat MLAs are backing Brian Topp in the leadership race for the federal NDP.

Kathy Corrigan (Burnaby-Deer Lake) and Raj Chouhan (Burnaby-Edmonds) announced their endorsement Friday morning as B.C. New Democrats gathered in the Lower Mainland for the BC NDP convention.

They join Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart who endorsed Topp in September, as well as former NDP leader Ed Broadbent.

Topp is in the running to succeed the late Jack Layton, who passed away last July. He is fully bilingual, was president of the party and was with Layton in his last days, helping him write his renowned last letter to Canadians. He was also chief of staff to Roy Romanow during the 1990s when the NDP were in power in Saskatchewan.

Corrigan said in an interview that the fact Topp has never been elected is not a concern because he has so much experience in government already.

"I have a great deal of respect for his ability to bring people together," she said.

At the announcement, she said, "When I worked with Brian, despite all his other obligations, I always got that phone call back, even if it was at 10 o'clock at night.

"His vision for Canada is clear, it is bold and it is firmly rooted in a conviction that we must address the growing gap between the very wealthy and economically powerful interests, and the rest of us."

Chouhan believes Topp has the right combination of skills to take on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and win an election.

"Brian knows what we stands for, and knows how to win," said Chouhan in a press release. "He is out front on creating a more equal Canada and he has the courage to say it's time for wealthy Canadians to pay their fair share. That's the kind of leadership I am looking for."

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

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