FORMER SASK DEPUTY PREMIER, CLAY SERBY, BACKS TOPP TO LEAD NDP

Thursday, January 12, 2012

REGINA – Clay Serby, the former Deputy Premier of Saskatchewan, today endorsed Brian Topp to be the next leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada.

Serby said that Topp has the right combination of skills, experience, and policy depth to lead the NDP to victory in the next election.

“Brian is the right person at the right time to lead the NDP,” said Serby. “He can build on our gains in Quebec, win throughout the country -- including right here in Saskatchewan -- and offer Canadians a strong NDP alternative to the Harper government.”

Serby said that Topp’s national experience was an important factor in his decision. He said that the party needs a leader who has a feel for the issues in every part of
the country.

“Brian gets Canada like few others do,” said Serby. “You don’t find too many fluently bilingual people from Quebec who worked at the heart of a successful Saskatchewan
NDP government. That kind of experience is invaluable as the NDP seeks to form a national government.”

Elected in 1991, Serby was a leading figure in the governments of Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert, both of whom have endorsed Topp. He served in a variety of different ministerial portfolios and as the Deputy Premier from 2001-2006.

Serby said that Brian has demonstrated his leadership skills in the campaign, offering bold ideas to take the country forward. He said that Brian knows what he stands for and how to fight for NDP values, one practical step at a time.

“I like to think that Brian learned from us in Saskatchewan that you can stand by your principles and offer strong, competent government,” said Serby. “Brian made a huge contribution to our province, and he will do the same for our country. I am proud to offer him my full support in this campaign.”

Topp thanked Serby for his support, saying the former MLA from Yorkton is part of the best governing tradition in the NDP.

“I learned a tremendous amount from Clay,” said Topp. “Like so many Saskatchewan New Democrats he showed me that the NDP can govern well and for a larger purpose – to build a fairer, more equal society. I am honoured to have his support and I am really looking forward to working with him in the months ahead.”

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For more information, contact:

Jim Rutkowski, 250-812-1741