Tania Mehta (CBC News):
Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo is dropping out of the federal NDP leadership race after suffering “two small strokes.”
In a statement released by her campaign office on Tuesday, the Toronto New Democrat said that she suffered the health setback in the last few weeks and has decided to withdraw after talking with hospital staff and family.
DiNovo, an ordained United Church minister and a longtime campaigner for LGBT rights who represents Parkdale-High Park in the Ontario legislature, is confident a candidate with similar values will step forward.
“That candidate, the one who puts principles and values at the forefront, will have me and my supporters’ full backing. I am so sorry that it cannot be me but this was never about me anyway,” she wrote.
DiNovo declared herself an “unofficial candidate” for the leadership at the beginning of June. Her goal was to run a grassroots campaign, rejecting the party’s registration fee of $30,000.
“I just feel, in principle, that’s wrong — that for the leadership of a democratic, socialist party, it shouldn’t be about the money,” she said at the time.
The rules for candidates include a $30,000 registration fee and a spending limit of $1.5 million. The party will take a 25 per cent “administration fee” to be levied on all donations to the candidates.
DiNovo says she plans on focusing on her health and returning to Queen’s Park in the fall.
The New Democrats will choose a new leader in 2017 to replace Tom Mulcair, who lost a leadership review in April following the party’s third-place finish in last October’s federal election.