January 9, 2019 2:00 pm
Updated: January 10, 2019 6:51 am

Trudeau calls 3 byelections, including for seat NDP’s Jagmeet Singh seeks

WATCH: Federal Battle brewing in Burnaby as by-elections called

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced three upcoming byelections on Wednesday, including in the B.C. riding where NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is vying for a seat.

The byelections will be held in Burnaby South, B.C., Outremont, Que., and York–Simcoe, Ont., on Feb. 25.

WATCH ABOVE: Jagmeet Singh comments after byelection called for Burnaby South

Trudeau’s announcement comes after he faced mounting pressure from Singh to call a byelection in Burnaby.

On Sunday, Singh was in the city and called out the prime minister over the delay.

“It looks like Trudeau is again delaying byelections in Burnaby South,” Singh told assembled supporters.

“This is a decision that impacts the bedrock of our democracy. Having an elected representative in Ottawa is the bedrock of our representational government, of our system … They’re doing it in their own political interest, and that’s deeply disappointing.”

READ MORE: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh campaigns in Burnaby, says Trudeau delaying byelections

WATCH: Jagmeet Singh rallies in Burnaby South  

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Singh, who doesn’t have a seat in the House of Commons, has not been able to participate in Question Period since becoming NDP leader in 2017.

The byelection will be a crucial test for New Democrats, who’ve been struggling to find their footing since their party was relegated to a distant third in the 2015 general election.

And the Liberals are putting up a fight in Burnaby. The party has selected daycare operator Karen Wang to carry their banner into the vote, and she has already begun attacking Singh for his lack of ties to the community.

The Conservative Party of Canada is running lawyer Jay Shin, while the Greens say they’ll extend “leader’s courtesy” to Singh, and won’t run a candidate against him.

WATCH: Trudeau says byelections for vacated seats will be filled ‘soon’

The race in Outremont, left vacant after former NDP leader Tom Mulcair resigned, will also be seen as a test of whether the NDP can hang on what’s left of the orange wave that swept Quebec in 2011.

The Conservatives are expected to easily keep York-Simcoe, left vacant by the resignation of long-time Tory MP Peter Van Loan.

— With files from The Canadian Press, Global News reporter Simon Little

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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