Ottawa | A Sikh leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) won a by-election to enter the Canadian parliament.
Jagmeet Singh, 40, won the Burnaby South constituency seat in British Columbia (BC) province after defeating Liberal party candidate Tory Shin, a corporate lawyer, and Lee, a former Burnaby member of the provincial legislature representing the BC Liberals, his campaign said.
The by-election was held in three different provinces on Tuesday, with barely eight months left for the federal elections in October, also sealed Singh’s position as an undisputed leader of the NDP, the third largest party in the House of Commons.
The other two seats were bagged one each by the ruling Liberals from Ontario province and the main opposition Conservatives from Quebec.
The Scarborough-born Sikh leader, also rated as a rising star in Canadian politics, had a shaky position as the head of the NDP as he was not a Member of Parliament.
Following his win, Singh is now considered as a viable challenge to the main Opposition Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, who is younger to him and steering a progressive alternative on the national stage to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party.
According to Singh’s campaign spokesperson, James Smith, the NDP leader has now redeemed his supremacy in the party.
Affordable housing, pharmacare and meaningful action to combat climate change are his focussed areas of work to solve the problems of the people, Singh told his supporters in his victory speech.
Singh maintained that the successive governments of the Liberals and the Conservatives had only enriched corporations while neglecting common Canadians.
“I know it’s been a long slog, but I hope you have more left in the tank. We have just eight more months to let the people know they can choose a government that stands up for people and not corporations, that doesn’t give handouts to SNC-Lavalin, Singh said in the context of the ongoing controversy involving SNC-Lavalin.
The NDP victory comes at a time the Liberals are facing the worst crisis involving the SNC-Lavalin bribery scandal, which led to the resignation of the former justice minister attorney general Jody Wilsom-Raybould.