Claudia Chender considering bid for leader of Nova Scotia NDP

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Claudia Chender is the NDP MLA for Dartmouth South and has three school-aged children. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Claudia Chender is the NDP MLA for Dartmouth South and has three school-aged children. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Dartmouth South MLA Claudia Chender says she's considering running for leadership of the Nova Scotia NDP.

Chender made the announcement in a statement on New Year's Day, saying she is "seriously considering" vying for the position, although she has not made a final decision.

It's the first expression of interest in the leadership since Gary Burrill announced in November he was stepping down, after leading the NDP in two elections.

Chender said the pandemic has "given us the opportunity to think about a different way of doing things."

"We expect our government to take care of everyone equally, but we have seen that many of our systems are not up to the task," the statement said.

"In conversations with people across the province, I'm hearing that our worsening health-care system, the environmental crisis, and issues of equity and affordability are top of mind."

First elected in 2017

Chender declined a request for an interview on Sunday, saying she wants to better understand how being leader would impact her family before she officially throws her hat into the ring. Chender has three school-aged children.

She also said she needs to know more about the race — what rules will be in place, how long the campaign will be, and how members will be able to express their voting preferences.

Chender added that those details should be decided by the end of this month, when the party's provincial council will be asked to ratify the rules for the leadership race.

Chender was first elected to the legislature in 2017. She's a lawyer with experience in business and publishing.

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