File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Canadians gave Justin Trudeau a chance, but the prime minister is too busy “doing favours for corporate friends,” alluding to the controversy involvingMontreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Singh urges team to ‘double down’ in months leading up to October election

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urged his caucus on Wednesday to ”double down” on their efforts to unseat the Trudeau Liberals in the eight months left to the next election.

An enthusiastic Singh, who hugged, high-fived and spoke to members of his caucus for the first time Wednesday morning since winning a seat in the riding of Burnaby South, spun a message that the NDP is a party focused on people while the Liberals side with big companies.

Preliminary results from Elections Canada show Singh was able to win the B.C. riding with 39 per cent of the vote — a success that means he will now be able to challenge Trudeau in the Commons for the first time since becoming leader in October 2017.

“I’ll be fighting for the things that matter to people,” he said to a room of MPs and supporters visibly elated by his recent win. “But I need you all to be a part of this. Together, we can put Canada on a new course.”

Singh said Canadians gave Justin Trudeau a chance, but the prime minister is too busy “doing favours for corporate friends,” alluding to the controversy involving Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

“From changing the law to get powerful executives off the hook, to giving billions in subsidies to the oil and gas (sector), to protecting the profits of pharmaceutical industries while keeping drug prices high,” Singh said.

“It’s clear: Justin Trudeau is not on our side, he’s not on your side — he’s on theirs.”

Since taking over the reins of the NDP from Tom Mulcair, Singh has faced external and internal questions about his effectiveness as the NDP’s popular support and fundraising slid.

Members of his caucus, however, were repeatedly on their feet in celebration of Singh during the part of Wednesday’s meeting opened up to media.

Veteran B.C. MP Nathan Cullen said there was a palpable sense of relief and optimism in the room.

“There’s a feeling that, with the kind of message that we have, the opportunity is there for us,” Cullen said in an interview.

“It is beyond just the symbolism of him winning a seat. This is Canada’s first racialized leader of a federal party. The new face of the NDP is diverse and strong and unapologetically progressive.”

For his part, Singh told his caucus he didn’t imagine that someone like him could ever run to be prime minister.

“My friends, we just sent a message to a lot of kids out there that yes, yes, they can,” he said, prompting the room to burst into a round of applause.

Just Posted

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Fog advisory in effect for Red Deer, central Alberta

Heavy fog is affecting visibility for central Alberta drivers Saturday morning. A… Continue reading

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $35.7 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $35.7 million jackpot… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Quebec man convicted in Mafia-linked conspiracy deported to Italy

MONTREAL — Michele Torre, a Quebec man convicted in 1996 for his… Continue reading

Republican Karl Rove says conservatives need more than simplistic slogans

OTTAWA — Legendary Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove, known for his no-holds-barred… Continue reading

B.C. hospital’s use as shelter ‘clarion call’ about housing crisis, says mayor

The 10-bed regional hospital that serves the medical needs of 5,000 people… Continue reading

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Most Read