Singh con­firms bid for Burn­aby seat

Times Colonist - - News -

VAN­COU­VER — Fed­eral NDP Leader Jag­meet Singh will run in an up­com­ing by­elec­tion in Bri­tish Columbia.

A crowd cheered and clapped as Singh for­mally an­nounced his nom­i­na­tion for the rid­ing of Burn­aby South at an event Satur­day.

Singh told them he wants to have a strat­egy that will solve the hous­ing cri­sis in Van­cou­ver, re­duce the cost of pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions and fight cli­mate change by fo­cus­ing on clean en­ergy. He said peo­ple are count­ing on the NDP, and the party can’t let them down.

Singh an­nounced his in­ten­tion to run in the rid­ing in early Au­gust.

Burn­aby South was held by for­mer New Demo­crat MP Kennedy Ste­wart, who gave it up on Fri­day to run for mayor of Van­cou­ver.

The 39-year-old On­tario-born Singh, who doesn’t live in the rid­ing, is op­posed to the ex­pan­sion of the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line and has called for a more thor­ough en­vi­ron­men­tal re­view. The gov­ern­ment, he has said, needs to in­vest in clean-en­ergy jobs.

If Singh wins the by­elec­tion, he has said he will also run in the rid­ing in the gen­eral elec­tion in 2019.

The date for the by­elec­tion has not yet been set.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau must call a by­elec­tion within six months of Ste­wart’s res­ig­na­tion.

Singh sat in On­tario’s leg­is­la­ture rep­re­sent­ing the Toronto-area rid­ing of Bra­malea-Gore-Mal­ton from 2011 to 2017 and served as the pro­vin­cial NDP’s deputy leader be­fore re­plac­ing Tom Mul­cair as fed­eral leader last fall.

He wrapped up a three-day cau­cus re­treat in Sur­rey last week amid crit­i­cism from party stal­warts about weak fundrais­ing and his con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion to oust a Regina MP over ha­rass­ment com­plaints. The party drew $4.86 mil­lion from 39,053 donors in 2017, a de­cline from the $5.39 mil­lion in 2016, and a drop from $18.59 mil­lion in 2015.

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