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Whatever the outcome, new leader’s first job will be to heal internal divisions

By Sheila Copps      

If Jagmeet Singh wins, the haemorrhage of Quebec support for the party will continue. If he loses, the damage done from the NDP turban wars will be felt by the party in other key parts of the country. Whatever the outcome, this will likely be the last NDP leadership vote where a single constituency can override a province.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen, pictured on Wednesday Sept. 20 on the Hill, endorsed Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh for the federal NDP leadership last week. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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OTTAWA—The New Democratic Party turban wars were officially launched last weekend. The first toxic, anti-turban bomb dropped was dropped by Quebec NDP MP Pierre Nantel on the eve of a leadership pre-vote launch in Hamilton. Nantel characterized candidate Jagmeet Singh’s religious garb as “ostentatious” and “not compatible with power." Party officials and candidates moved immediately to distance themselves from his inflammatory pronouncement. But the salvo served to highlight the schism between Quebec New Democrats and the rest of

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