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Charlie Angus participates in the first debate of the federal NDP leadership race in Ottawa on March 12, 2017.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

NDP leadership hopeful Charlie Angus is taking a leave from the race following the death of his sister.

The longtime New Democrat MP from Ontario announced late Tuesday that Kathleen Angus had passed away after a lengthy illness.

Angus missed the last leadership debate in Victoria on Aug. 2 to be by her side, taking a 10-day break from his campaign.

This time, he will only be absent until Monday to plan and attend her funeral.

The MP for Timmins-James Bay will be back for a French language debate on Aug. 27 in Montreal.

Besides Angus, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton, Quebec MP Guy Caron and Jagmeet Singh, a member of the Ontario provincial legislature, are running.

A deadline for candidates to sign up new members is Thursday.

The federal NDP leadership race is down to four contenders after Peter Julian dropped out on Thursday. The British Columbia MP says his campaign was “far below” where it needed to be on fundraising.

The Canadian Press