NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh campaigns in Montreal ahead of tough byelection fight

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh campaigns in Montreal ahead of tough byelection fight

MONTREAL — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh ventured into his predecessor’s former territory on Saturday as he campaigned in Montreal’s Outremont riding ahead of several federal byelections expected to take place early next year.

Singh shook hands and chatted in French as he visited local businesses alongside NDP candidate Julia Sanchez.

The riding was vacated earlier this year by former NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, whose 2007 byelection victory represented a breakthrough for the NDP in Quebec.

Mulcair went on to win the riding three more times before leaving politics to take a teaching job.

Despite the NDP’s past success in Outremont, the party could be facing a challenge once the byelection is called.

Its results in recent byelections have been disappointing and Sanchez has never run in an election before.

The NDP finished a distant third in a byelection in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord that the Conservatives won in June, taking just 8.7 per cent of the vote in a riding the NDP won in 2011.

The previous October, the NDP finished a distant fourth in a byelection in Lac-Saint-Jean that was won by the Liberals.

But despite those losses, the NDP leader expressed confidence on Saturday.

“You can’t compare byelection results to general election results,” Singh said. ”I don’t think that’s a fair comparison.”

Singh is counting on his environmental platform, including promises of green energy jobs and investments, to win over Quebecers.

“Between the heatwave in Quebec that saw significant lives lost, floods, and extreme weather across Canada, more and more people are really concerned about what we’re doing to fight climate change,” he said.

Singh would not offer a prediction on the Outremont byelection, but acknowledged that the riding held symbolic importance as the birthplace of the so-called orange wave that propelled the party to its best-ever showing in the province in 2011.

But while he’s made several trips there, not everyone in Outremont appeared to recognize the NDP leader as he made stops at a pastry shop and cafe on Saturday.

While he attracted curiosity, several people asked who he was, and one wondered if he was Canada’s defence minister.

However, Singh appeared well received as he introduced himself to restaurant patrons, chatting in French as he asked them about their political priorities.

At his side was Sanchez, a political newcomer who has spent the last seven years in Ottawa as CEO of the Canadian Council of International Co-operation.

She said she relished the challenge of moving back to Montreal and taking on a high-profile assignment in her first political battle.

“I’ve been knocking on doors since August, and people are really proud of the work the NDP and Thomas Mulcair and the team did … and I think they want continuity,” she said.

Sanchez will face Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan, a lawyer who finished second to Mulcair in the last election, while the Conservatives have announced Jasmine Louras as their candidate.

Singh also appeared confident of winning his own battle for a seat in the British Columbia riding of Burnaby South once the next round of byelections is called.

He said he has moved to the riding and is seeing “a lot of support” from people on the ground as he campaigns on issues including the environment and the need for affordable housing.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce the date for byelections for the Burnaby South, Outremont and York-Simcoe, Ont., ridings early in the new year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60,000 in 2020. (Photo courtesy Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Facebook)
Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60K in 2020

The executive director of the Red Deer Outreach Centre says she is… Continue reading

The Red Deer and District Community Foundation needs to sell more tickets to host a raffle that will benefit the Women and Girls Endowment Fund.
Red Deer & District Community Foundation grants $167K to local women’s initiatives

Initiatives supporting women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse individuals will receive a combined… Continue reading

City of Red Deer says its roundabouts have sharply reduced the number of injury collisions at a pair of busy intersections. Alberta Transportation wants to incorporate five roundabouts into plans to twin Highway 11 from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Highway 11 roundabouts will increase safety based on Red Deer’s experience

Injury collisions sharply reduced at roundabout intersections in city

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

Alberta reported an additional 643 COVID-19 cases Friday. The province now has… Continue reading

About 110 students from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools participated in March for Life rally in Edmonton May 9. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school has COVID-19 case

St. Joseph High School in Red Deer confirmed a positive COVID-19 case… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

Quebec Premier Francois Legault pauses as he speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Non-essential travel ban would violate Constitution but courts might allow it: expert

MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19… Continue reading

A woman walks outside the Roberta Place Long Term Care home in Barrie, Ont. on Monday, January 18, 2021. The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in Canada has underscored the need for increased public funding for home care, advocates say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates

VANCOUVER — The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in… Continue reading

A Chinese flag is illuminated by sunshine in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, September 22, 2016. China is threatening retaliation against Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned a new security law giving Beijing more control over Hong Kong.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Diplomats contact Canadian held for over 2 years in China

BEIJING — Canadian officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig,… Continue reading

Marc Gold (centre) stands with senators André Pratte (left) and Peter Harder before being sworn in during a ceremony in the Senate on Parliament Hill, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Senator urges study of vexing barriers to using secret information in court cases

OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg ticket holder wins Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — A ticket holder from Winnipeg won Friday night’s whopping $60… Continue reading

A readers suggests using a hairdryer to open a tight jar lid. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Hints from Heloise: The handy hairdryer hint

Dear Heloise: Whenever you have trouble opening a tight jar lid, set… Continue reading

Professional-quality tools don’t just last longer, they’re also more comfortable and better balanced. This drill and impact driver are perfectly balanced on the triggers, which is ideal. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: In praise of professional-grade tools

When I was 10 years old, my dad began renovating our kitchen,… Continue reading

There are two confirmed COVID-19 cases at Red Deer College. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Central Albertans were promised a university

Central Albertans were promised a university

Most Read