OTTAWA -- Montreal-area MP Alexandre Boulerice is supporting caucus colleague Peter Julian in the race for the NDP leadership.

Boulerice told reporters today that in his opinion, Julian offers a progressive and bold vision for the party's future.

The MP for the Montreal riding of Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie says he also supports the bilingual Julian because of his stance on free post-secondary education and his knowledge of Quebec.

Julian, the MP for New Westminster-Burnaby in British Columbia, honed his French while living in Quebec for nearly 15 years.

He is one of four contenders -- all sitting MPs -- in the race to replace Tom Mulcair as NDP leader.

The three others are Quebec's Guy Caron, Manitoba's Niki Ashton and Ontario's Charlie Angus.

Boulerice's endorsement came Wednesday, making him the sixth NDP caucus member to endorse Julian.

The outspoken Quebec MP had said from the beginning he would support someone with an acceptable knowledge of French but also an understanding of and sensitivity toward Quebec.

"I was extremely proud to see Peter's very crystal-clear position against the East Energy pipeline, which I think is in step with what the majority of progressives in Quebec and elsewhere in the country think," Boulerice said.

Julian's energy transition plan and his commitment to tackling tax havens are positions that will help the NDP distinguish itself from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals, "who are not real progressives even if they claim to be," Boulerice added.

For his part, Julian was happy to have Boulerice, an influential Quebec NDP member, on board.

"It's important to be credible everywhere in Quebec," Julian said. "The support of Alexandre Boulerice gives me strong credibility in Quebec and elsewhere in the country."

Two debates have already been held with a third scheduled for May 28 in Sudbury, Ont., the day after the Conservative Party chooses its new leader.

The NDP will name its leader by October.