Singh survives byelection test. Can he shift focus from his leadership to NDP policies?
The prevailing wisdom was that Singh would have a tough time winning the riding for any number of reasons.
Start with the results in 2015, when the NDP won Burnaby South by fewer than 600 votes. Add in the fact that Singh's political home, until recently, was halfway across the country in Ontario. His political experience was based on his time in provincial politics there.
The polls have been similarly unkind since he became leader in October 2017. NDP fortunes took a tumble with each Singh stumble, whether it was not knowing the party's position on a gun control bill or his decision to boot MP Erin Weir from caucus after complaints that he made women feel uncomfortable.
The party's fundraising has also been weak, with the NDP lagging far behind the other two major parties. And just to finish the pile-on, let's observe that fully a quarter of the current NDP caucus isn't running again.
That made Burnaby South an interesting choice for a rookie leader who had what appeared to be everything to lose in this race.
But it proved to be a good laboratory for testing the tolerance of progressive voters in one of this country's most diverse ridings. Half of the people who live there were born outside Canada.
It's also exactly the kind of riding Justin Trudeau has cultivated, said Shachi Kurl, executive director of the polling firm Angus Reid Institute, with tax hikes on the rich, the tax-free child care benefit and promises of new money for infrastructure.
"This is middle-class ground zero, middle-class central," said Kurl. "This will be a good assessment of whether people think Justin Trudeau's delivering or not."
Three byelections. Three winners from three different parties. For the candidates, an exciting conclusion to three exhausting campaigns. And the winners, at least, will get to do it all over again in just a few months' time.
CHARLIE ANGUS STATEMENT ON CPP INVESTMENTS IN AMERICAN DETENTION CENTRES:
Canadians are horrified by the human rights abuses taking place in the ICE detention centres in the United States. We are particularly concerned about the abuse of migrant children.
Last October, I met with representatives of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board over their decision to invest in privatized US prisons. I challenged them to do better and made it clear that Canadians did not want their pension funds being used to enable the horrific camps.
Thanks to public press the CCIB has dropped the privatized prison companies from its investment portfolio. I thank them for this decision
This shows that when we come together to push for change, we can make a difference. The fight for justice continues.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh unveiled his party’s detailed costing plan for how his party would pay for its big-ticket spending promises in areas such as national pharmacare and billions for affordable housing and public transit. The NDP says it can raise $130-billion in new revenue over four years by hiking taxes on corporations, high-income Canadians and by closing offshore tax loopholes. “We know we can do these things. We know we can invest in housing and make these choices. We can also ask the wealthiest to pay a little bit more so we can make these investments in people,” Singh told reporters.