NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks at a press conference as he unveils the NDP’s top priorities ahead of the federal budget on February 13, 2018. Singh says he condemns all acts of terrorism no matter who is committing them. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)

Scientist, business owner seeking Liberal nomination to take on NDP’s Singh

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not yet set a date for the byelection in Burnaby South

A scientist and a small business owner are vying for the Liberal nomination in the riding of Burnaby South, where the winner will go on to challenge NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in a federal byelection.

Liberal spokesman Braeden Caley says biotechnology scientist Cyrus Eduljee and Karen Wang, who operates several daycare centres in Burnaby, will be on the ballot at the party’s nomination meeting today.

Wang ran for the BC Liberals in Burnaby-Deer Lake in the 2017 provincial election, while Caley says Eduljee has long been involved with local electoral district associations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not yet set a date for the byelection in Burnaby South, which was vacated by former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, now Vancouver’s mayor.

Corporate lawyer Jay Shin is running for the Conservatives, while Green party leader Elizabeth May has said the Greens won’t run a candidate and Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada has not named one.

READ MORE: PM to call three by-elections, giving Singh chance to win seat

The byelection, expected for February, marks Singh’s biggest political test to date while he also tries to calm party fears about fundraising, slumping polls and a growing list of veteran MPs who say they won’t run in 2019.

Singh has said he plans to focus on campaigning in the riding over the next month, so he can check “elected” off his to-do list for the critical campaign year ahead.

He has declined to say whether he will step down as party leader should he lose.

In the 2015 federal election, the NDP won Burnaby South by just over 500 votes.

Caley said whoever is nominated today will reflect the Liberal party’s values and plans for the region.

“Justin Trudeau is focused on a positive plan for British Columbia that invests in affordable housing throughout the province, that invests in shortening commute times with better roads, transit and bridges, protecting a healthy environment and growing our economy,” Caley said.

“That’s what you’ll hear from our candidate in this riding.”

The Canadian Press

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