Canada’s first non-white federal party leader
Jagmeet Singh, the first turban-wearing Sikh to sit in Ontario’s legislature, claimed victory this Sunday in the federal NDP leadership race.
According to data from the National Post, the Ontario MPP was named the new leader of the federal NDP after winning 53 per cent of the vote in the first round at the Toronto Convention Centre. This election came after former leader Tom Mulcair lost the confidence of the party during a leadership review in April 2016.
Singh, a criminal defense lawyer who speaks French and Punjabi, was born in Scarborough, Ont., in 1979. He received a law degree from Osgoode Hall in Toronto and established a law firm, which his brother now runs.
In Singh’s victory speech, he highlighted a few key issues that were important to him and the NDP party that they wish to accomplish: “Inequality, especially income inequality, pay equity and housing affordability — we have to tackle these issues.”
“Inequality, especially income inequality, pay equity and housing affordability — we have to tackle these issues.”
“To make progress on these issues, to truly make Canadians’ lives better, we owe it to Canadians to form government. We owe it to them,” he told a cheering crowd according to the National Post.
Singh has positioned himself as a leader who can grow the party among different immigrant communities. Gurnishan Singh, a volunteer on his campaign, told the National Post that the victory will bring people from minority communities to the NDP in “masses.”
The next challenge for Singh will be the 2019 election, which will prove to be more difficult. However, one thing that is on his side is the historical performance of the NDP, “which has never had two consecutive elections in which the party has lost both vote and seat share,” according to CBC News.
Singh’s leadership win sparks a new chapter in the history of the NDP, in which Singh hopes he will continue to inspire Canadians for real change in the country.
Photo courtesy of CBC.