Cauchon leadership bid touts traditional Liberal values

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Federal Liberals feeling nostalgic for the party's heyday in the 1990s might find a few things to like about Martin Cauchon's leadership platform.

In launching his campaign, Cauchon is touting the benefits of the long-gun registry and a more active federal role in public health care.

The former Jean Chretien cabinet minister spoke of restoring Canada's peacemaking image abroad and, closer to home, wants federal politicians to help the provinces improve health services.

Cauchon is also offering a message aimed at left-leaning voters: in his launch speech, he says the Liberal party is the "true" progressive political alternative.

The 50-year-old lawyer says he expects to win a race that also includes presumed front-runner Justin Trudeau and Montreal MP Marc Garneau.

Cauchon was the final candidate to join the contest — which features a total of nine hopefuls.

He retired from politics in 2004 and lost a 2011 attempt to win back his old Montreal riding from Tom Mulcair, now NDP leader.

Unlike the other candidates, Cauchon has extensive experience in the federal cabinet. He was the activist minister of justice who paved the way for same-sex marriage and who attempted to decriminalize marijuana use.

In the prepared text of his speech, which is being delivered at an event in Montreal, Cauchon cites that experience as an advantage.