POLITICS
07/19/2019 13:50 EDT

NDP Blame Singh’s False Accusation About CBC Reporter On Staff ‘Mistake’

J'accuse! Oh no wait.

Tara Walton/CP
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, surrounded by fellow party-members, speaks to the media following a speech at the Ontario NDP Convention in Hamilton, Ont. on June 16, 2019.

OTTAWA — Not everyone makes it to the end of articles.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh accused a CBC journalist on Twitter Friday of “purposely” leaving out quotes from an exchange he had with a woman in a Drummondville, Que. mall about his turban. But here’s the kicker: the quotes were included at the bottom of the story.

Twitter
Screengrab of a deleted tweet originally sent from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's Twitter account on July 19, 2019.

The tweet was deleted. Singh’s spokesperson told HuffPost Canada it was a “mistake by a staffer.”

“They didn’t realise they were on Jagmeet’s account and thought they were tweeting on their own account,” Mélanie Richer wrote in an email.

The CBC News report notes Singh’s interaction with a woman who commented that his sunny turban looked “quite nice.” Singh, who is Sikh, high-fived her in return.

The anecdote was part of a story on Singh’s current “summer tour” of Quebec to canvass voters ahead of the upcoming federal election campaign. The party is hoping to lift support amid waning poll numbers.

WATCH: Politicians’ tweets could get slapped with warning labels from Twitter

 

But the NDP leader is seemingly unfazed. During a stop in Sherbrooke, Que. this week, Singh told the Canadian Press he’s “not concerned” about his party’s support in the province.

“I think there’s a lot of support out here,” he said. “We get lots of love. We’ve got 14 MPs, so there’s lots of ground for us to work on. We’ve got a lot of great, specific candidates who have done work in their community.”

He noted how low poll numbers also dogged late NDP leader Jack Layton ahead of the 2011 election — the year the party earned an “orange wave” of support in Quebec.

Singh, a former criminal defence lawyer and Ontario MPP, made history nearly two years ago when he won the NDP leadership race becoming the first non-white person to lead a Canadian federal party. 

His tour across Quebec comes in the wake of the passage of the Coalition Avenir Québec government’s so-called secularism law. The provincial government invoked the notwithstanding clause to introduce new rules to prohibit public sector employees from wearing religious symbols at work.

A bid to suspend the controversial law, which advocates say will disproportionately harm religious minorities, was rejected by a judge Thursday

Superior Court Justice Michel Yergeau stated in his ruling that because the notwithstanding clause was invoked, lawyers had limited options to make their arguments. 

The notwithstanding clause is a section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that allows federal, provincial, and territorial governments to temporarily override Charter rights. Lawyers vying to suspend the law were unable to argue that it violates Charter-protected rights.

Singh previously called the law a “bad decision,” telling reporters in June that the NDP members “do not feel it is a government’s responsibility or in a government’s interest to legislate on what people should be wearing.”