British Columbia

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to run in Burnaby South byelection

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has ended speculation and says he will run in the upcoming byelection in B.C.'s Burnaby South riding.

Party leader vows to relocate to Vancouver suburb if successful: 'I'm all in on Burnaby'

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, currently without a seat in Parliament, said Wednesday he will run in the byelection of B.C.'s Burnaby South riding, (Anita Bathe/CBC)

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh wants to become Burnaby's newest member of Parliament.

Singh, currently without a seat in Parliament, said Wednesday he will run in the byelection of B.C.'s Burnaby South riding, confirming recent speculation

The riding was previously held by the NDP's Kennedy Stewart, who resigned in June to run for mayor of Vancouver.

While addressing the crowd outside a film studio, Singh made the pitch for universal pharmacare as the completion of Tommy Douglas's vision for universal health care, and criticized the Liberals for studying the issue instead of implementing a plan.

"The people of Burnaby can't wait. Canadians can't wait," Singh said.

Singh also said action is needed on what he called Canada's housing "crisis" and wealth inequality, while reiterating his opposition to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and calling for electoral reform.

When asked about his commitment to the riding, the former Ontario provincial legislator said if he wins the byelection — for which a date has not yet been set — he and his wife would move to the Vancouver suburb.

"I'm all in on Burnaby," he said. "Absolutely."

He came back several times to the need for a new hospital in Burnaby and said he was struck by the "deep connection" to local parks and green spaces in the city.

Shortly after Singh concluded his remarks, the Liberal party said a "wide variety of talented community leaders" have expressed interest in running, and that a nomination process will be held. 

"Liberals in Burnaby South are looking forward to a campaign focused on Justin Trudeau's positive plan to create jobs, strengthen the middle class and improve the lives of families in Burnaby," the party said in a statement.

A request for comment from the Conservative Party of Canada was not immediately returned.

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