N.S. pharmacist Singh to seek NDP leadership
While Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP Robert Chisholm is still mulling over a run at the party leadership, a little-known Musquodoboit Harbour pharmacist is getting ready to launch his leadership bid this weekend.
He was born Martin Hill, but is now Martin Singh after changing his name as part of his conversion to the Sikh faith.
The turbaned Sikh said while he, his wife and three children stand out, they are accepted on the Eastern shore where he owns and runs a local pharmacy.
But it's in Brampton, Ont., where thousands of Sikh families live, that Singh will launch his campaign.
Last weekend, he told a group gathered outside a temple there that he is going to run, in part, to showcase the Sikh faith.
"This campaign that will start on Oct. 2, and this campaign that will travel right across this great nation will teach Canadians about who we are and that our values, Sikh values, are the same as Canadian values and that Canadian values are the same as Sikh values and that we care so very deeply for this country and we want to play a part. This, this is what I want to bring to this election race," he told the crowd.
In N.S., his appeal for support has been more low key — phone calls and emails — some with a professionally produced video attached.
In the five-minute piece, Singh introduces himself and talks about his family history and some of his ideas in the animated video.
"I know the pharmacy business well. I can see a national pharmacare program helping. Purchasing on a national level for instance could reduce costs for everybody and improve health care in the process," he says in the video.
Although it's a slick production, Singh's campaign manager said the video will not be used in the campaign to come and the ideas it contains are a work in progress.
To date, Quebec MP Romeo Saganash and federal party president and veteran political strategist Brian Topp have declared their intention to run.
Ottawa MP Paul Dewar and B.C. MP Nathan Cullen are both expected to announce they're running in the next few days.
Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP Robert Chisholm has been brushing up on his French as he mulls a run at the party leadership.