Politics

Jagmeet Singh vows he'll lead NDP into 2019 election

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh vows he will lead the NDP into the 2019 federal election as he heads into next month's crucial byelection for the vacant Burnaby South seat in B.C.

In interview airing Sunday, Singh brushes aside questions about what he'll do if he loses a federal byelection

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tells the National's Rosemary Barton that he will stay on as NDP leader even if he does not secure a seat in the House of Commons in February's federal byelection in B.C.. 0:14

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh vows he will lead the NDP into the 2019 federal election as he heads into next month's crucial byelection in B.C.

In an interview to air Sunday on The National, Rosemary Barton asks Singh what he will do if he loses the Feb. 25 contest for the vacant Burnaby South seat.

"I will be the leader that leads the New Democratic Party into the 2019 election," Singh replies. "I'm confident we're going to do well in this riding. We're connecting with people, we're getting a lot of support. And we are providing solutions to the problems that people are faced with."

Singh is running in a seat vacated by former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, who is now Vancouver's mayor. A win would give the Singh a seat in the House of Commons and is seen as a crucial test of a leadership still in its relative infancy.  

Singh has been without a seat since he was elected leader of the federal NDP in October 2017.

Other candidates in the riding include Conservative Jay Shin and People's Party candidate Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson. 

Former Liberal candidate Karen Wang quit the byelection race Wednesday over comments she posted on social media about Singh, writing that as the only Chinese candidate, she could beat Singh, who she noted is of "Indian descent." Singh was born in Scarborough, Ont., to parents who immigrated to Canada from Punjab state in India.

The Liberal Party has until Feb. 4 to nominate a new candidate. The party's constitution also allows the leader to appoint someone.