NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he still intends to run in a federal byelection in British Columbia, even though a friendlier riding in his hometown of Brampton, Ont. has suddenly opened up.
Singh says he’s chosen to make Burnaby South his federal political home.
“I’ve made it clear, my decision to run in Burnaby South, and I continue to remain clear on that decision,” he said.
On Thursday, Liberal Raj Grewal announced he is resigning immediately as the MP for Brampton East for unspecified personal and medical reasons.
Singh would likely coast to victory in Brampton East, the riding he represented for six years in the Ontario legislature, now held provincially by his brother Gurratan. Burnaby South, which the NDP won by just over 500 votes in 2015, will be a tougher slog for him.
When he was first elected federal NDP leader last fall, Singh intended to wait until next October’s general election to gain a seat in the House of Commons and he said Brampton East was where he wanted to run.
However, under intense pressure to get into the Commons sooner after a shaky start as leader, Singh announced in August that he would run in an eventual byelection in Burnaby South. That seat was vacated in mid-September by former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who ran successfully to become Vancouver’s mayor.
Early in the new year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to set an early February date for byelections in Burnaby South and at least two other vacant ridings. He could also add the now-vacant Brampton East to the roster.