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NDP leader Jagmeet Singh speaks as he supports local candidate Paul Taylor, during his election campaign tour in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Aug. 21, 2021.

CHRIS HELGREN/Reuters

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the timing of the current national election may have impeded a prompt and adequate Canadian response to the crisis in Afghanistan.

Singh made the comments to reporters today in Toronto during an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the death of former NDP Leader Jack Layton.

When pressed on the issue, Singh said Canada has been slow to evacuate its allies from Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of Kabul last week, forcing President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country.

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He said he wonders if Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was more focused on campaigning and the election call than on a burgeoning humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Singh also pledged to introduce a bill in the House of Commons to change the name of Layton’s former riding of Toronto-Danforth to Danforth-Layton in the former leader’s honour.

The NDP made huge gains under Layton’s leadership, winning 103 seats across the country in the 2011 election, but the party held 24 seats before Parliament was dissolved last week for the Sept. 20 election.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 22, 2021.

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