News  “McGill Five” endorsements: Charmaine Borg

The 2012 NDP leadership convention

Endorsement: Brian Topp.

The McGill Daily: Why are you endorsing Brian Topp?

Charmaine Borg: I support Brian Topp for the very fact that he is a Quebecer who has worked across the country, so, to me, he is the perfect balance of both of those worlds. I think it’s important to elect a bilingual leader. So, for me, someone who can’t speak French will be a disadvantage to our party.

He has worked for a majority government – the NDP majority government in Saskatchewan – so he knows how to be in that situation, we want to get there in 2015. He wants to go on and directly attack inequality and I think there has been a lot of discussion over the [Occupy movement’s] 99 per cent, and he is willing to help the 99 per cent and bring forward a more equal society. For me, that is the main reason I support him.

MD: What is Quebec’s role in the leadership race?

CB: I do think that there is a need to maintain Quebec because our ultimate goal is to win government in 2015. So, if we can’t hold on to Quebec, our options – or our chances – are very limited. So, I think it is important, and that is a challenge of someone who does want to become government is how to respect Quebec’s values and continue and to build on our gains and maintain what we have here… I think that is one of the main challenges in Canadian politics and it has been for a long time. And at the base, the Quebecois are very socially democratic and they always will be and if we can prove to them that the rest of the country is willing to get on this social democratic mission, I guess I can say, then, that’s important and I do think that it does merit a lot of space in the leadership race.