Jagmeet Singh to contest Burnaby South byelection in BC

jagmeet singh
Jagmeet Singh with his supporters.

The 38-year-old NDP leader says he will relocate to Burnaby if he wins

TORONTO: Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has announced to contest the byelection from Burnaby South in British Columbia in his bid to get elected to the House of Commons.

Making public his decision while addressing a crowd outside a film studio in Burnaby, Jagmeet said, “The people of Burnaby can’t wait. Canadians can’t wait.”

The NDP leader said, “I am all-in on Burnaby and we are going to run here.”

He said he was running for the by-election because Trudeau hasn’t done anything for people.

Questioned about his commitment to Burnaby, Jagmeet said he would relocate from Brampton to Burnaby if he got elected. “Absolutely,” he said.

The sitting NDP MP Kennedy Stewart is vacating the seat to contest as an independent against current Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson for the October 20 civic election.

But considering that Stewart had won the riding by a narrow margin of 547 votes in 2015, it won’t be a cakewalk for Jagmeet Singh in Burnaby South.

It must be mentioned here that the 39-year-old NDP leader had backed British Columbia in its dispute with Alberta – which is also ruled by the NDP – over the Kinder Morgan pipeline issue because he was eying to get elected as an MP from British Columbia before the 2019 federal elections.

He had also enrolled a huge number of Indo-Canadians from British Columbia as NDP members in his bid to get elected as the leader of the federal NDP last year.

Generally, Canadian political parties don’t put up candidates against another party leader in his or her bid to get elected to the House of Commons in case the vacated seat has previously been held by the same party. In Jagmeet’s case, the seat being vacated has been held by his own NDP party. In 2002, the Liberals did not put up a candidate against Stephen Harper when he contested a byelection after becoming leader of the Canadian Alliance.

But this time, the Conservative Party has said that it will put up a candidate against Jagmeet Singh whenever he contests from any riding.

“We’ll be running a candidate,” Cory Hann, director of communications for the Conservative Party, told CBC last month. The  Conservatives have a strong presence in Burnaby South.

The Liberal Party, which almost won the riding in 2015, may give Jagmeet a free pass, even though Liberals’ media handlers have said that the party “would welcome the opportunity to present a candidate in any riding which becomes vacant.”

READ NEXT: Jagmeet Singh’s baffling support for British Columbia on Kinder Morgan



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