SINGH, WANG KICK OFF CAM­PAIGNS IN BURN­ABY SOUTH

NDP leader took heat on­line over con­fu­sion re­gard­ing CTV Ques­tion Pe­riod in­ter­view

StarMetro Vancouver - - VANCOUVER - MELANIE GREEN Elec­tion will be a ref­er­en­dum on Jag­meet Singh’s lead­er­ship, ex­pert says. More at thes­tar.com/van­cou­ver

Jag­meet Singh says he is “aware” the Chi­nese am­bas­sador pub­lished an ed­i­to­rial ac­cus­ing Canada of white supremacy.

His com­ments came hours after the fed­eral NDP leader took a bash­ing for an ap­pear­ance on CTV Ques­tion Pe­riod on Sun­day, when he asked “who ac­cused who of white supremacy?” fol­low­ing ques­tions on China’s am­bas­sador to Canada’s pub­lish­ing an ed­i­to­rial last week ac­cus­ing Canada of white supremacy when it comes to han­dling Meng Whanzhou’s case.

The ques­tion was re­fer­ring to the case of two Cana­di­ans de­tained in China, in what ex­perts are call­ing a tit-for-tat re­tal­ia­tory re­sponse to Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties de­tain­ing the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of tele­com giant Huawei on the re­quest of the United States.

“I didn’t hear what he had said … and once given the ques­tion, I re­sponded,” Singh said when asked if he knew about the op-ed. “Yes, I was aware. … I ex­pressed that there is a deep con­cern on the part of Canada for peo­ple be­ing de­tained.”

Singh, who is vy­ing for his first seat in the House of Com­mons, held his of­fi­cial cam­paign kick­off at his of­fices on Royal Oak Ave. on Sun­day, two hours be­fore Lib­eral can­di­date Karen Wang’s launch at her of­fices on Kingsway St. blocks away.

Wang said her mes­sage to Bei­jing is that Canada’s in­de­pen­dent law sys­tem should be re­spected.

“I have con­fi­dence in both coun­tries,” she said at her cam­paign of­fice. “They will solve this is­sue in a peace­ful way, in a pos­i­tive way, in a win-win so­lu­tion.”

Both stayed on mes­sage dur­ing their launches, and saw roughly 100 sup­port­ers at­tend. Singh re­it­er­ated the need for im­me­di­ate af­ford­able hous­ing, uni­ver­sal pharmacare and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions. Wang re­peated her per­sonal story of deep roots in Burn­aby and pri­or­i­tized a strong, stable econ­omy and cre­ation of more jobs.

The long­time Burn­aby South res­i­dent has al­ready crit­i­cized Singh for his lack of com­mu­nity ties. Mean­while, Singh told his crowd of sup­port­ers that he plans to spend all of his time in the rid­ing.

The Burn­aby South by­elec­tion is Feb. 25.

MELANIE GREEN/STARMETRO VAN­COU­VER

Fed­eral NDP Leader Jag­meet Singh hosted his cam­paign kick­off Sun­day. He told sup­port­ers that he plans to spend all his time in the rid­ing.

MELANIE GREEN/STARMETRO VAN­COU­VER

Lib­eral can­di­date Karen Wang, a long­time Burn­aby South res­i­dent, has crit­i­cized Jag­meet Singh for his lack of ties to the com­mu­nity.

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