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Angus endorsement gives Dewar momentum in NDP campaign

NDP MP Charlie Angus speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Dec. 12, 2011.

Sean Kilpatrick/Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Ottawa MP Paul Dewar has rolled out some impressive endorsements this week in his bid to succeed Jack Leader of the NDP.

On Friday, Charlie Angus, the veteran MP from Timmins–James Bay who is his party's ethics critic and who drew public attention this fall to the deplorable conditions in Attawapiskat, announced that Mr. Dewar had his support.

"Paul is a person who connects with families and their priorities and I believe he's the best leader to carry on Jack's work and win the next 70 seats needed to form an NDP majority," Mr. Angus said in a new release. "He brings to the table the kind of ideas, energy and leadership that a majority of Canadians are looking for from their government."

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That followed the nod Thursday by Linda Duncan, the only NDP MP in Alberta who is the party's aboriginal affairs critic and who is well known for her environmental activism.

The crowded field of candidates means endorsement announcements are made almost every day. But it is something of a coup to garner the support of two incumbent MPs and two of the people who have become major players in caucus.

Meanwhile, Peggy Nash, a Toronto MP who is also vying to lead the new Democrats, released proposals on Friday that she says would make Canada a global leader in innovation.

"The Harper Conservatives' approach to innovation is that it will just happen without strategic leadership, without promotion, without targeted support to the private sector," Ms. Nash said in her release. "This complacency has failed Canada. I know we can do better."

She says she would, among other things, launch a new Canada Innovation Fund to help pay for research and development projects at high-tech firms, expand investment tax credits to companies that invest in high-tech machinery and equipment, and help commercialize research and development that takes place in Canadian universities and other public institutions.

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