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NDP leadership race gains steam with first debate Sunday

NDP MP Guy Caron rises during question period in the House of Commons Wednesday April 30, 2014 in Ottawa.
NDP MP Guy Caron rises during question period in the House of Commons Wednesday April 30, 2014 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – As NDP leadership hopefuls prepare for their first debate on Sunday, Quebec MP Guy Caron is fleshing out his pitch for a basic income to reduce income inequality in Canada.

Caron, an economist, is proposing a taxable supplement that would help those Canadians whose income levels fall below a standard minimum threshold, determined in part by the size of their family and the city they live in.

READ MORE: MP Niki Ashton joins NDP leadership race

He says the proposal would be designed to complement existing provincial and federal social programs, not replace them.

Caron says some 70 per cent of those people who are living in poverty are considered working poor: they have jobs, but simply don’t earn enough to get by.

Other candidates in the race to replace Tom Mulcair as leader include Manitoba MP Niki Ashton, who entered the race this week, B.C. MP Peter Julian and Ontario MP Charlie Angus.

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Would-be candidates have until July 3 to declare formally whether they are in the running; a new leader will be named in October.