Halifax will play host to the federal NDP convention at the World Trade and Convention Centre in this weekend.

 

NDP Leader Jack Layton was expected to arrive in Halifax yesterday for an early start to the weekend activities.

 

The party announced Halifax as the next conference city one year ago, but the province’s recent NDP win is a welcome twist of fate, Sackville-Eastern Shore MP Peter Stoffer said yesterday.

 

“We haven’t been here for quite a long time for a national convention, so we just thought it was appropriate,” Stoffer said of why Halifax was chosen. “We’ve been to British Columbia, we’ve been to Ontario, been to Quebec, but we haven’t been to the Maritimes as a national party. Now we have a provincial party which is quite a bonus on top of that.”

 

While in Halifax, the conference will honour former party leader Alexa McDonough for her years of dedication to the party. McDonough and 10 others, including former leader Ed Broadbent, will give speeches on a variety of issues facing the party and the country, including climate change and the national budget.

“The most pressing issue facing our planet today is the environment and climate change and global warming,” Stoffer said. “We need to outline a plan working with various other groups that are out there to address this issue.”

He said they have a blueprint but nothing will be decided at the conference, only discussed. He said another major issue the conference will address is Canada’s deficit.

The party, which formed in the 1960s, will also consider new ways of communicating online and whether or not to drop “New” from the party name.

Party members from across Canada will gather for the convention. Hundreds of volunteers will be needed to accommodate everyone, the federal NDP website claims.