Update: Jagmeet Singh holds rally in Metrotown following call for by-election

Kareem Gouda / January 10, 2019

Singh Seeks Seat in Burnaby-South

Jagmeet Singh held a rally at the Metrotown area of Burnaby Wednesday following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling by-elections in three Canadian ridings including Burnaby-South.

Singh took the opportunity to criticize Trudeau for allegedly purposefully leaving four seats vacant. He then pumped up the crowd to motivate support since Singh is seeking the Burnaby-South seat.

He was questioned as to what his relationship with Burnaby is like given that he and his wife are currently renting a home in Burnaby. Before then never actually lived here.

“So, we moved out here, me and my wife. We’ve got a lovely place, a Vancouver special. It’s pretty iconic. We’ve been connecting with folks ever since I ran for leadership I found an immediate connection to the people of Burnaby-South. I love the community, incredibly diverse, beautiful community and I’m looking forward to representing the people.” – Jagmeet Singh, Federal NDP Leader

Richard Johnston, Professor of political science at the University of British Columbia says that the NDP is likely to spare no expense in making sure Singh wins the By-election on February 25th.

“I would expect the NDP to pour every resource they have into this riding” – Richard Johnston, UBC Political Sciences Prof.

This riding will be critical for the Federal NDP leader as losing the by-election could mean that he loses his leadership of the federal NDP as well.

“I would expect the NDP to pour every resource they have into this riding” – Richard Johnston, UBC Political Sciences Professor
(Darrian Matassa-Fung / BCIT News)

Is this seat taken Mr. Trudeau?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that there will be three by-elections called to fill 3 of the 4 vacancies in the House of Commons.

The ridings of Outremont in Quebec, York Simcoe in Ontario and Burnaby South in B.C will have an election held on February 25th.

This announcement follows after the Opposition claims the Liberals were deliberately delaying calling a by-election to keep those seats vacant.

However, no by-election has been called in the riding of Nanaimo – Ladysmith. This riding was vacated by Sheila Malcolmson who wanted to shift to provincial politics with the BC NDP.

The calm before the storm

Singh has been seeking the by-election in the Burnaby-South riding since he announced his candidacy on August 8, 2018. However, it may be an uphill battle according to Richard Johnston.

Johnston suspects that the Liberal government is delaying the Burnaby South by-election for tactical reasons. He suggests that as Trudeau loses popularity, his party is doing anything in its power to take potential votes from the NDP.

“This is a situation in which the future of one of the key party leaders may be at stake, that’s Jagmeet Singh. It’s pretty clear that the government is doing whatever it can to make it hard for him to get into the house of commons, and for the party to have a leader with any credibility before the next election.” – Richard Johnston, UBC Political Science Professor.

There are 46 days until the by-election.