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A week after the news that journalist Chrystia Freeland would seek the federal Liberal nomination for the downtown Toronto riding vacated by Bob Rae, another well-known journalist, Linda McQuaig, has announced she wants to be the New Democratic Party candidate for the Toronto Centre by-election.

A former Globe and Mail reporter who now has a column in the Toronto Star, Ms. McQuaig has a reputation as a left-leaning nationalist and is the author of several books critical of Canada's establishment.

"I now want to move from advocacy to action. After years as an observer and critic, I want to join a team actively fighting to build a Canada that is equal, inclusive and responsible," Ms. McQuaig said in a statement released Tuesday.

Both Ms. McQuaig and Ms. Freeland, who has also worked at The Globe and Mail, are the authors of books that focus on growing income disparities. In 2010, Ms. McQuaig published The Trouble With Billionaires: How the Super-Rich Hijacked the World and How We Can Take It Back, while Ms. Freeland is the author of Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.

In her statement, Ms. McQuaig wrote that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has been stumbling and the Toronto by-election would signal which party would be the best to replace the Conservatives at the helm of the country.

"Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has glitz, but NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has substance, brains and a strong commitment to a creating a more progressive and inclusive Canada," she wrote.

She also pointed at her roots in the riding, in an apparent attempt at underlining her difference with Ms. Freeland, who was born in Alberta and had studied and worked in Britain and New York as well as Toronto.

"For the past 13 years," Ms. McQuaig wrote, "I have lived and raised my daughter in Toronto Centre. I was born in the riding, at Toronto General Hospital, and attended high school here … I have downtown Toronto in my blood."

Another high-profile candidate has already begun working to earn the NDP nomination in the riding. Jennifer Hollett, a former television host and journalist who most recently earned a master's degree in public administration at Harvard, announced in July that she would be vying for the nomination in Toronto Centre.

No by-election date has been announced but the vote is expected to be held in the fall.