NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh is supported by Peter Julian
Jagmeet Singh launches his bid for the federal NDP leadership in Brampton, Ont., on Monday, May 15, 2017. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, September 7, 2017 2:38PM EDT
VANCOUVER -- Federal NDP leadership hopeful Jagmeet Singh has clinched the backing of veteran politician and former leadership rival, Peter Julian.
Julian says Singh represents the diversity the NDP needs in order to thrive against the Liberals and Conservatives.
He says he has been impressed in recent weeks by the breakthrough Singh had made in signing up new members.
Julian notes there is a distinction between debating fellow leadership hopefuls and choosing whom to support, and he took the time necessary to make the right choice.
Julian, who represents the British Columbia riding of New Westminster-Burnaby, dropped out of the race in July, citing poor fundraising numbers.
The race to replace outgoing NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is heating up, with the first round of voting scheduled to take place later this month.
Singh was elected to the Ontario legislature as a provincial New Democrat in 2011 and announced his intention to make a run for federal leadership last May.
"I cannot highlight enough how truly special this is," Singh announced Thursday, saying Julian's endorsement marked one of the most important days of his campaign.
Singh will face off against fellow contenders Niki Ashton, Guy Caron and Charlie Angus in Vancouver on Sunday for the final leadership debate.
Voting for the next NDP leader begins Sept. 18, but final results aren't expected until October.