BURNABY, B.C. — Federal New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh took aim at the Liberal government's investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline and its lack of spending on housing and Pharmacare while announcing he'll run for a seat in Parliament in Burnaby, B.C.
Singh announced Wednesday his candidacy for the riding of Burnaby South, which former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart recently gave up to run for mayor in Vancouver.
Speaking in front of supporters at an outdoor film production studio in the riding, Singh said he's running because he wants the government to invest in housing and Pharmacare.
"I'm running because we don't need our government to invest public dollars, billions of public dollars, in a 65-year-old leaky pipeline. We need our government to invest in clean energies for today and tomorrow, clean energy jobs."
The expanded Trans Mountain pipeline will run through Burnaby. Singh has opposed the expansion and called for a more thorough environmental review.
Singh doesn't live in the riding, but said a national leader will represent the issues that touch the people of Burnaby.
"Housing is a massive issue and pushing hard on these issues is what people want to see happen. We need to push the government because their plan to invest in housing two years from now doesn't make any sense when we know there is a housing crisis right now."
He brushed off a question about the risk to his leadership if he doesn't win the byelection.
Sets tone on Trans Mountain project
"We need to have action now and we need to push this government to do the things that we need now."
No date has been set for the byelection.
Singh sat in Ontario's legislature and served as the provincial NDP's deputy leader before he ran to replace Tom Mulcair as the federal leader.
He told reporters that he will move to Burnaby and run there again in 2019, if he wins the byelection.
"I've committed to this riding and I'm committed all the way," he said.
Liberals look forward to 'positive campaign'
A statement from the Liberal Party of Canada said members in Burnaby South are looking forward to a campaign focused on Justin Trudeau's positive plan to improve the lives of families in Burnaby.
It said over 10,000 B.C. residents have signed up as new Liberals in the last two years alone.
"We wish Mr. Singh well as his party's candidate in the riding, and we're looking forward to a positive campaign to contrast our ideas with the other parties."
With a file from Ryan Maloney
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