Meet Jagmeet Singh: Rising NDP star touted as possible leadership hopeful
Published Tuesday, January 24, 2017 10:28AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:28AM EST
A new leader for the federal New Democrat Party won’t be selected until October, but one provincial NDP member is already emerging as a frontrunner despite not even entering the race yet.
Ontario Deputy NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who is the MPP for the Toronto-area riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton says he’s “seriously considering” running for the federal leadership.
“People have been approaching me and encouraging me to consider making that … jump,” he told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.
Singh was first elected to provincial office in 2011, and quickly rose through the ranks. The 38-year-old lawyer by trade has gained a following on social media, and is often touted for his charismatic appeal.
As Singh and other candidates consider a run for the NDP’s top political job, the race for a Conservative Party leader is heating up and making headlines almost daily.
But the NDP has been largely radio silent in recent months about their own future. Singh said it’s normal to see potential candidates hold off on announcing their candidacy during such a long race.
“Leadership races are very intense so it’s difficult to get out really early,” he said. “It’s still about eight, nine months away, so it’s still quite early in the game and I know people are going to come forward.”
He added: “You have to build momentum in a leadership race and it’s hard to sustain over a long period of time.”
Singh said, when Justin Trudeau was first elected as prime minister, he indicated a shift toward a more “progressive” way of governing, however, more than one year into the Liberal government’s mandate, “we’re starting to see chinks in that armour.”
He accused the Liberal government of breaking promises on jobs for youth and electoral reform.
As for his own vision for Canada, Singh said he wants to reduce the “growing” gap in income and equality to ensure that “everyone can enjoy” success now and in future generations.
He said Canada is welcoming to everyone, however, “sometimes policies don’t back that up.
“So I want to see a country that really, meaningfully welcomes everyone, makes sure that everyone has an opportunity in this country to succeed.”
So can the possible leadership hopeful speak French? When asked, Singh said he is “fluent” in Canada’s other official language.
Other possible contenders in the race to replace Mulcair include Manitoba MP Niki Ashton, B.C. MP Peter Julian and Ontario MP Charlie Angus.