With Party Facing Money Woes, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh Looking To Win Burnaby South For More Than A Paycheck

The impending byelection to replace his own MP Kennedy Stewart, who's running for Vancouver mayor, is the first real challenge for Singh, who must win the seat and get a foot in parliament where he can be more effective as a federal leader as he is a good debater and needs a platform to get the party back on track financially as well as with voters. So this one is for more than a paycheck.

By PD Raj – Senior Writer DESIBUZZCanada                                                 PHOTOS By Sukhwant Singh Dhillon

OTTAWA — Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh chose the background of a Burnaby movie studio Wednesday afternoon to announce that he is finally running for a federal seat since winning the historic party leadership.

Singh said he's running for the Burnaby South seat in the House of Commons and his decision comes on the heel of reports that the party is running out of funds and Singh himself is not being paid for doing his leadership job while he awaited a chance to run in his home province of Ontario.

The impending byelection to replace his own MP Kennedy Stewart, who's running for Vancouver mayor, is the first real challenge for Singh, who must win the seat and get a foot in parliament where he can be more effective as a federal leader as he is a good debater and needs a platform to get the party back on track financially as well as with voters. So this one is for more than a paycheck.

Singh won the federal NDP leadership last fall but isn't a member of Parliament. Reports indicated he would run to replace New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, who has resigned his seat to run in Vancouver's mayoral race.

"I did approach Jagmeet suggesting that it might be good for him to run in Burnaby South. What's been very positive is when I mention it to people in Burnaby, is how excited they got," Stewart said earlier.

Stewart said Singh understands the city and knows the NDP supporters there.

Singh sat in the Ontario Legislature before his federal leadership run, representing the Toronto area riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton. He held the seat from 2011 to 2017 and served as deputy leader of the Ontario NDP.

Stewart said he's not concerned that Singh isn't from the riding and noted former NDP leader Tommy Douglas, who had been premier of Saskatchewan, served in the riding after leaving Saskatchewan politics.

A Liberal Party spokesman suggested the Liberals won’t hold off on running a candidate in the riding to allow Singh to take the seat and join the House of Commons.

"The Liberal Party of Canada has always worked hard to represent Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and as such we welcome the opportunity to present a candidate in any riding which becomes vacant," Braeden Caley wrote in an email.

Stewart won the riding in 2015 by about 550 votes. Liberal candidate Adam Pankratz came second.

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