Ontario NDP candidates receive federal praise during Singh stop in London

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks to a crowd of supporters during a campaign stop for the 2022 Ontario Election in London, Ont. He is joined on stage by (from left to right) London-Fanshawe candidate Teresa Armstrong, London North Centre candidate Terence Kernaghan, London West candidate Peggy Sattler, Elgin-Middlesex-London candidate Andy Kroeker and NDP London-Fanshawe MP Lindsay Mathyssen. Andrew Graham / Global News

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in London, Ont., on Tuesday to campaign for Ontario New Democrats running for ridings in the city in the 2022 Ontario Election.

Singh arrived at the campaign office of Ontario NDP London North Centre candidate Terence Kernaghan in what marked the latest high-profile visit to the riding this month.

Read more: Ontario election 2022: London North Centre the local race to watch, political scientist says

Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca made a stop last week to support London North Centre candidate Kate Graham, while Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford visited the campaign office of Jerry Pribil the week prior to support his candidacy for the riding.

Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner visited London on May 6, but instead made a stop inside the boundaries of London West.

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Speaking to dozens of supporters, Singh reflected on his time in Queen’s Park, where he served as MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton from 2011 to 2017 and served as the Ontario NDP’s deputy leader during the last two years of his time in provincial office.

“We saw 15 years of Liberals who had the chance, if they wanted to, to make things better, but they created so many of the problems that we’re going through today,” Singh said, highlighting issues surrounding health care, long-term care and housing.

“And then, four years of Conservatives. Did our housing crisis get any better? Our health-care system? Long-term care? Not at all.”

Read more: Doug Ford and the PCs maintain tight grip on Ontario election race: Ipsos poll

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When asked by media about why he made the visit, Singh brought up his personal history with London, having previously lived in the city while attending Western University.

“Anytime there’s a chance to help support local campaigns, I always put my hand up for London because I just got a connection, I appreciate the folks here and there’s some incredible candidates running and I want them to be able to continue to fight for the people here,” Singh said.

“We’ve got Terence, we’ve got Teresa (Armstrong), we’ve got Peggy Sattler. We’ve seen their work, we know what they do and they have served the people of London incredibly.”

Kernaghan, who is the incumbent in London North Centre, said Singh’s visit shows “how much power and momentum we have here in London.”

While political watchers are calling for a close race in the riding, Kernaghan disagrees.

“Every street I go on, I see tons of my signs and it is incredibly overwhelming to see the amount of love and support that we’re receiving on the doors and people know exactly who I am when I’m knocking on the doors and they thank me for my work in the community,” Kernaghan said.

“We’re just feeling so inspired and motivated.”

Along with Kernaghan, Graham and Pribil, who are running for the NDP, Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, respectively, several other candidates also hoping to represent Ontarians in London North Centre.

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They are the Green Party’s Carol Dyck, the New Blue’s Tommy Caldwell, the Ontario Party’s Darrel Grant, the Consensus Party’s George Le Mac and the Freedom Party of Ontario’s Paul McKeever.

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