NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says he’ll move to B.C. if he wins. What happens if he loses?
Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has pledged to move to Burnaby if he wins a byelection there.
And he has indicated he won’t quit as NDP leader if he loses.
WATCH: Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh confirms run in B.C. byelection
Singh spoke with Global BC from Metrotown on Wednesday, the same day he announced that he would run in a byelection in the Burnaby South riding to replace the NDP’s Kennedy Stewart, who is resigning to run for mayor of Vancouver.
The federal NDP leader is from Ontario, where he represented the provincial riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton as an MPP from 2011 to 2017.
Now, he has committed to moving to Burnaby, one city in a broader region that is coping with a housing crisis.
The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Burnaby South area was $1,685,200 last month; a townhome would have cost around $846,200 and a condo $731,700.
Rentals aren’t cheap either. So how is Singh going to make this happen?
“We’re going to have to find the best way possible, reach out and look around and find a place,” he told Global BC.
“That’s something my wife and I have talked about and we’re ready to do.”
But what happens if Singh doesn’t win the seat?
“It comes down to what do people need, what do people want,” he said.
“At the end of the day, people can’t afford to wait like the Liberals are telling people to do, and the Conservatives aren’t prepared to do what’s right for people.”
WATCH: ‘I’m committed to Burnaby South. I’m all in on Burnaby’ — NDP leader Jagmeet Singh
And what of his leadership of the NDP? Will it be time for him to quit?
“No, not at all,” he said.
History suggests that Singh could have a fight ahead of him to win the seat.
Only 547 votes separated the NDP’s Kennedy Stewart from the Liberals’ Adam Pankratz in the 2015 election.
The riding was partially created out of the Burnaby-Douglas district, which Stewart used to represent.
In the 2011 election, Stewart’s first in the area, he won the riding by just over 1,000 votes, beating the Conservatives’ Ronald Leung.
The NDP also hasn’t won a single byelection since Singh became leader.
For his part, Singh is taking nothing for granted.
“[On] the issues that matter to people, I can provide that alternative, that voice that matters, that strong opposition,” he said.
“But more than just opposition, I can put pressure on the government to do the things that we need them to do.”
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