Meet new NDP leader Jagmeet Singh
Published Sunday, October 1, 2017 5:28PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 2, 2017 10:21AM EDT
The New Democrats have elected Ontario politician Jagmeet Singh to take over for Tom Mulcair and lead the party into the next federal election. He is the first minority to lead a federal party in Canada.
Singh, 38, won on the first-ballot Sunday, with a count of 35,266 votes.
"I don't have the words to capture this journey and how this feels right now. It's an incredibly profound honour," he told the crowd, as supporters cheered and gathered around him.
The former criminal defence lawyer turned MPP has represented the Bramalea-Gore-Malton riding since 2011 and was named deputy leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party in 2015.
Before that, he previously ran in the same riding in the 2011 federal election as the NDP candidate but lost after a close race.
Singh was born in Scarborough, Ont. in 1979 to immigrant Punjabi parents. He has two siblings, a brother and a sister. He was raised in Newfoundland and Labrador and Windsor, Ont. where he said he got picked on for his name, skin and hair.
"I faced a lot bullying at school and often felt like I didn't belong," Singh told supporters at Bombay Palace in Brampton, Ont. earlier this year.
His parents sent him to live in Detroit hoping to put an end to the bullying. After completing high school in the states, Singh went on to graduate from the University of Western Ontario in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science and then a Bachelor of Laws degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005.
Before entering politics, Singh worked as a lawyer in the greater Toronto area, before opening his own practice, Singh Law, with his brother.
Singh has credited some of the groups who he provided legal services with as motivating him to enter politics.
The popular politician is also known for his love for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and his fashion sense.
GQ described him as “the incredibly well-dressed rising star in Canadian politics.”
Singh is also an avid social media user and speaks fluent French and Punjabi.
With files from CTVNews.ca’s Graham Slaughter and The Canadian Press