NDP leader Singh formally announces nomination in Burnaby riding
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh eats popcorn during a visit to the Rumble on Gray Street Fair, in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday September 15, 2018. Singh is scheduled to be officially nominated as the party's candidate in the Burnaby-South byelection at a nomination meeting Saturday afternoon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, September 15, 2018 7:44PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 15, 2018 10:28PM EDT
VANCOUVER -- Federal New Democratic Party 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.
“What's at stake is we've got a Liberal government that is not doing what people need,” he said.
“They are not taking the action that people need. Instead of investing and dealing with national housing crisis, they spent $4.5 billion on buying a pipeline,” Singh said as the crowd chanted, “shame.”
He blamed the Liberals and Conservatives for the current state of the country, saying the two parties don't get and don't care what people are going through nor are they willing to do what's necessary for people.
“We have a government that is not willing to do what people need. And we had a Conservative government that put us in this position in the first place.”
“Together we can do it,” Singh said, adding that 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.
The federal government's approval of the pipeline was recently overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal.
The pipeline runs from Edmonton to Burnaby and has met strong opposition in the Vancouver area.
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, B.C., this 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.
During the retreat, Singh delivered a campaign-style speech to a group of supporters where he took several jabs at Trudeau, giving a glimpse of what could turn out to be a feisty campaign.
In an interview earlier in the week he acknowledged that it's been tough to achieve his vision as a new federal leader although he has found the experience rewarding.
Singh also said he has to do a better job of communicating with Canadians.