Singh launches campaign as by-election call expected shortly

Greens have said they won't run a candidate against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in Burnaby South.

A federal by-election is expected to be called shortly for Burnaby South, vacated since Kennedy Stewart left his post in September, and the NDP is launching its campaign on Sunday to elect Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDP party to the riding.

Because of commitments in Toronto, however, the NDP leader himself won’t be at the launch in Burnaby.

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Campaign manager Amber Keane said because no one has known the date of when the writ would drop, as national leader, Singh has commitments elsewhere as well.

“Once we know for certain, he’ll be making his way to Burnaby,” she said.

The Green Party of Canada has announced it won’t run a candidate, and the federal Liberal party has not announced a candidate, or whether they will run one against the NDP leader. The Conservative Party chose their candidate, Jay Shin, for Burnaby South in September and he will be running in the by-election.

Four federal seats are now vacant and normally the prime minister calls elections for all empty ones at the same time.

Peter Julian, MP for New Westminster, said it would be “unprecedented” if the prime minister didn’t call the election for Burnaby South at the same time.

“It would be pretty outrageous if Mr. Trudeau did that,” he said.

Julian has been door-knocking for Singh’s campaign over the past few weeks and said he’s heard a lot of support for the NDP leader as well as opposition to Trudeau’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Other issues he’s heard concerns about are housing and climate change.

Julian said on Saturday the by-election is expected to be called on Sunday, or if not then, within days.

The party is planning a “Burma shave” with volunteers in front of the campaign office on Royal Oak on Sunday as the campaign gets off the ground.

Once the prime minister announces the by-election, an election period of a minimum of 36 days will begin.

With the federal general election one year away, Julian said he is planning to run for re-election in his riding of New Westminster-Burnaby.

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