NDP’s Singh says his caucus is united, after backlash to punishment of MP

The 39-year-old former Ontario provincial politician was in B.C. this week, touring Burnaby

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his caucus is united behind him, despite recent discord over his decision to punish a veteran member of Parliament.

After a backlash, Singh reversed his decision to oust Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson from his role as vice chair of the procedure and House affairs committee.

“We’re New Democrats. People are going to have different opinions. It’s not a big deal,” Singh said Thursday after touring a steel fabrication company in Burnaby, B.C.

“Many New Democrats are activists. They are used to speaking truth to power. I’m not so arrogant as a leader to believe that once I make a decision, that’s it.”

Singh dumped Christopherson from his position last week after the MP voted against the New Democrats on a Conservative motion. The motion — defeated by Liberal and NDP members — condemned the Liberal government’s new policy requiring groups that apply for funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program to affirm their respect for abortion rights.

Ontario MP and former leadership rival Charlie Angus publicly chastised Singh for the decision and the leader reinstated Christopherson this week.

Singh insisted on Thursday that he had the full support of his 44-member caucus. Unlike “other leaders,” he said, he doesn’t shout members of his caucus down or tell them to “shut up” and toe the party line.

“We’ve got a strong caucus. It’s a united caucus,” he said. “My style is to listen to folks and to hear them out. I think that’s what Canadians want.”

The 39-year-old former Ontario provincial politician still does not hold a seat in the House of Commons after winning the federal leadership in October. He said he’s “comfortable” where he is.

“If an opportunity does present itself, I’ll still keep an open mind to that. But right now, I’m comfortable with the fact that I’ll spend this time touring the country and meeting folks and hearing their concerns.”

Before speaking with reporters, Singh toured architectural steel manufacturer George Third & Son. He said he wanted to meet with workers who stood to be affected by potential U.S. tariffs.

“We’ve got a strong and vibrant industry … that needs to be protected.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

REVIEW: Poetry helps Conshinz heal from brain trauma

The Book of 1000 Poems, Volumes 1-4, by Conshinz, a.k.a. Port Alice… Continue reading

Meet the new owner of the Scarlet Ibis Pub & Restaurant

Kevin Foley is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan.

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read