After months of pressure from federal opposition leaders, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called three federal by-elections to be held at the end of February.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trudeau called by-elections for the British Columbia riding of Burnaby South, for the Quebec riding of Outremont and for the Ontario riding of York-Simcoe on Feb. 25.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is hoping to gain a seat in the House of Commons by winning in Burnaby South.
Speaking to reporters in the riding following Mr. Trudeau’s announcement, Mr. Singh said “the wait is finally over.”
Mr. Singh said Mr. Trudeau has made Canadians wait – not only for the chance to elect new representatives – but also on a number of major issues, including finding solutions to the housing crisis and climate change.
“There seems to be a trend here, people can tell that they are not the priority of this government," he said.
He also said that, rather than delivering on the bold platform he promised, Mr. Trudeau has delivered “timid action at best.”
Mr. Singh said that he and his wife have moved to Burnaby South and that he looks forward to representing the riding.
“The time for timid is over,” said Mr. Singh, adding that in 47 days the New Democrats are going to send a bold message to Ottawa that “Canadians are done waiting.”
The Prime Minister’s Office had repeatedly stated that by-elections would be called in January, with a February voting day.
York-Simcoe was previously represented by Conservative MP Peter Van Loan who announced his retirement last summer.
Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair represented the Montreal-area riding Outremont, but Liberals are hoping to win back the seat.
Burnaby South was held by Kennedy Stewart of the NDP before his successful bid to become mayor of Vancouver; however, how Mr. Singh fares in the race as an outsider from Ontario will be a test for both him and the New Democrats.