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Day 3 of NDP federal election

Quebec City—It was a proud day for Canada’s largest union as convening federal New Democrats chose CUPE sister Anne McGrath as their new president.

I pledge to build on our many strengths and to continue our tradition of bringing our progressive vision to the national stage,” said McGrath, who won a landslide victory.

I’m extremely proud of Anne and congratulate her on behalf of all CUPE,” said National President Paul Moist. “I know she will be a strong, effective leader.”

We are thrilled that Anne has been elected president,” added party leader Jack Layton. “Her ideas will bring new energy and momentum to our party.”

McGrath has a long history as an activist in the labour, student and feminist movements. She has run as an NDP candidate in Alberta and was most recently Layton’s director of operations.

Two more CUPE sisters were re-elected to their labour seats on the NDP executive: British Columbia Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Judy Darcy and national organizing and regional services managing director Julie Davis. Barry Thorsteinson, staff advisor to CUPE’s national political action committee, was elected to the party executive for the first time, also to a labour seat. And Sylvia Sioufi, national literacy program coordinator, took centre stage as one of the convention chairs.

This was the third and final day of the New Democrats’ convention. More than 1,800 delegates, staff and observers met in Quebec this weekend, the biggest NDP convention since 1987.

Jack Layton received overwhelming support and a strong mandate from his members, with well over 90 per cent voting against a leadership election. Layton capped off the convention with a rousing speech that set the tone for an ambitious campaign to persuade Canadians to elect an NDP-led government.