Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to run in Burnaby South byelection

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh intends to run in the upcoming byelection in the Burnaby South riding of British Columbia, CBC News has learned.

Riding's outgoing MP Kennedy Stewart won his seat in 2015 by 547 votes over the Liberal candidate

Singh has previously said that he has been encouraged to run for Parliament in the soon-to-be vacated British Columbia riding of Burnaby South. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh intends to run in the upcoming byelection in the Burnaby South riding of British Columbia, CBC News has learned.

The riding is held by NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who is vacating his seat to run for mayor of Vancouver.  

Two anonymous sources revealed the news about Singh to CBC. A party spokesperson said Singh will be "doing events" in the Greater Vancouver area on Wednesday and Thursday.

The spokesperson wouldn't confirm the decision, but said many people in the Metro Vancouver suburb have been encouraging Singh to run in the upcoming byelection.

"When Mr. Singh was in Burnaby last month he found that the problems people are facing there reflect so many of the issues Canadians are struggling with across the country," the spokesperson said in an email.

"Issues like uncertain and precarious work, special tax loopholes for the super rich, rising out-of-pocket health costs and longer waits times, unaffordable housing, and concerns about a clean environment."

NDP MP Kennedy Stewart is running as an independent candidate in Vancouver's upcoming election this fall. (CBC)

The spokesperson said Singh was "very moved by the support" and will make a decision in the near future. 

The Burnaby South riding was created prior to the 2015 election, which Stewart won by 547 votes over Liberal candidate Adam Pankratz. 

The southern half of Burnaby has only elected NDP candidates since 2004, but prior to that had elected a mix of candidates from the Liberals, NDP and conservative parties.     

A date for the byelection has yet to be set. 

With files from Justin McElroy

​​Read more from CBC British Columbia