HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil is throwing his support behind Justin Trudeau as the MP seeks the leadership of the federal party.

In a statement, McNeil says Trudeau is a passionate and energetic leader who would unite Liberals as prime minister and move the party forward.

McNeil says Trudeau has what it takes to transform politics in Canada, grow the economy and engage younger generations.

Trudeau is widely considered the front-runner in the eight-person leadership race.

The fourth of five all-candidates' debates is scheduled to take place Sunday in Halifax.