NDP leader Jagmeet Singh finally has a date with voters after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called three byelections, including one for Burnaby South.
On Wednesday, the prime minister’s office announced byelections for three federal ridings currently without an MP. Voters in Burnaby South, Outermont (Quebec) and York-Simcoe (Ontario) will go to the polls on Feb. 25.
Burnaby South has been without an MP since September, 2018 when the NDP's Kennedy Stewart resigned for his ultimately successful run for mayor of Vancouver.
The announcement comes after Singh and other federal party leaders criticized Trudeau for delaying the byelections. They argued that residents of the ridings were being denied their right to representation in Ottawa.
Singh, who was elected leader of the NDP in 2017, will be attempting to win his first seat in Parliament. He will be facing off against Conservative Jay Shin, Liberal Karen Wang and Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson of the People's Party of Canada. The Green party has opted not to run a candidate in the riding.
After the announcement Wednesday, Singh told reporters at the Metrotown SkyTrain Station he was excited to finally know the date of the vote, but once again criticized Trudeau for the time it took to call the byelection.
"This is not all he's made Canadians wait for," Singh said. "He's asked Canadians to wait while the housing crisis means that many Canadians cannot afford to find a place to call home."
Singh also criticized Trudeau's lack of commitment to implementing a natinoal pharmacare program, an issue Singh has repeatedly raised while campaigning in Burnaby.
"People can tell they are not the priority of this government," he said, "Trudeau campaigned on a bold platform but he hasn't made people's lives better."