Newcomer Harden says he's ready to work hard for Ottawa Centre

By Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen, June 8, 2018

(...)“It’s not about Joel, it’s about us and building the strength of us,” Harden said Thursday night, as the gap between him and Naqvi grew.

A career community organizer, university lecturer and education researcher, Harden, 46, was painted by the Progressive Conservatives during the campaign as “radical,” in part because he publicly backs the “Leap Manifesto,” a set of ideas that’s pretty leftist even by NDP standards. It proposes radical reductions in fossil-fuel use, big moves to improve life for Indigenous people and nearly wide-open borders.

Asked if he now has to prove to residents he’s not who he’s been painted as by opponents, Harden said he is inspired by the NDP’s “socialist tradition,” naming Tommy Douglas, Ed Broadbent and Jack Layton as political mentors.

“Those are my values, that’s where I come from, but I want to build things and if there is anybody in this province that wants to tear this province down to some narrow ideological design, it’s not me,” he said.

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