Times Colonist

Singh matches wits with Ocasio-Cortez

NDP leader takes on American congresswo­man in public video-gaming session


OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh committed a grisly slaying in front of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday night. Fortunatel­y, the victim was a video game character, not a human being.

The NDP leader squared off against the firebrand member of the U.S. Congress in Among Us, an online multiplaye­r game, as a way to reach young people.

Between galactic missions carried out by stubby, spacesuit-clad avatars, Singh and Ocasio-Cortez extolled the importance of universal pharmacare, a living wage, civic decency and rehabilita­tion over punishment.

“Another world is not only possible, but it exists. And in so many places in the U.S. it exists, like, a three-hour drive away from people who are saying it’s impossible,” said Ocasio-Cortez, referring to cheap health care and more generous employment insurance.

Legislator­s have an obligation to connect with younger Canadians struggling to cope with the pandemic, said Singh, who had challenged the U.S. representa­tive over Twitter on Thursday.

“I think it’s a great way to reach out to young people who have been really hard-hit by COVID-19, who often get blamed. But they’re the ones that are working in the jobs that expose them — in service jobs, in retail jobs, in restaurant­s and bars,” Singh said. “Also they’re the ones who lost their jobs, because these are the sectors that have been impacted by the shutdown. It’s really hard to physically distance when you don’t have a career settled and you’re still going to school or you haven’t found a partner.”

Singh said he and AOC, as the congresswo­man from New York is known, share progressiv­e values on health care, economic equality and climate change, views that align with a growing slice of younger voters.

 ?? SEAN KILPATRICK, CP ?? NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during question period on Parliament Hill on Thursday.
SEAN KILPATRICK, CP NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during question period on Parliament Hill on Thursday.

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