Mathyssen: DiNovo’s “Unofficial” Candidacy Is Unusual

Cheri DiNovo’s “unofficial” candidacy for the federal NDP leadership is proving to be unusual to some.

The Ontario MPP has announced herself as an ‘unofficial candidate’ to replace Tom Mulcair with the apparent intent of protesting the party’s electoral procedures. But London Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen isn’t totally clear about what DiNovo’s announcement actually means.

“Unofficial candidacy is very unusual,” says Mathyssen, “You’re either in or you’re not. And so I really don’t understand what Ms. DiNovo means by ‘unofficial’. Either you’re running and you’re a serious candidate, or you’re not.”

DiNovo’s primary reason for announcing her unofficial candidacy appears to be to protest the $30,000 entry fee required. Mathyssen acknowledges this expense, but says it has a purpose.

“It is very, very, very expensive to run a leadership campaign. There has to be arrangements in regards to debates, travel, making sure there is fairness for each of the candidates,” Mathyssen says.

Mathyssen also brings to light the need to pay the fees to be eligible for running and questions whether DiNovo is going to follow protocol.

“If she wants to be part of the leadership, she needs to be serious,” says Mathyssen. “And being serious includes being official, as opposed to unofficial, and paying fees like everyone else.”

Mathyssen knows what she is looking for in a new leader.

“The integrity of a Jack Layton, the principles of a Thomas Mulcair, the determination of an Alexa McDonough, and the ability to see the larger picture like Ed Broadbent, and conviction like a David Lewis,” Mathyssen says.

Although others have yet to put their name in, Mathyssen is excited to see who will be elected as the party’s new leader.

“We’ll see who steps forward.” Mathyssen says. “I will be very quiet because I’m neutral, but I still have a vote, and I’m looking for the very best that Canada has to offer, in terms of a leader, and we have consistently had that, and I have no doubt that we will have that again.”


**this story was written by Samuel Gallant. Samuel is a student in the Fanshawe College broadcast journalism program. He is performing a summer internship with Blackburn News.**