Burnaby South's Jagmeet Singh praised for honesty about abuse in his new book

Jagmeet Singh - Burnaby South MP and leader of the federal New Democratic Party – will be back in his riding on Wednesday and you can meet him in person.

Singh will be at Chapters in Metrotown from 12:30 to2:30 p.m. signing copies of his memoir, Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience, and Overcoming the Unexpected, which hits shelves on Tuesday.

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Singh is being praised for his honesty after an excerpt was published in the Toronto Star.

The book details the racism aimed towards Singh while growing up in Windsor, Ont. It also describes sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of an authority figure – a taekwondo instructor listed as Mr. N.

"Mr. N abused me. He tied his perversion to my performance, which was my primary motivation," Singh writes in the book. "It didn't take long for the abuse to seem normal. That's the thing about abuse — it can make the victim feel an overwhelming sense of shame, a shame so disabling that one suffers in silence."

You can read the chapter that has been printed in the Toronto Star here.

The NDP issued a statement that was printed by HuffPost Canada in an article.

"Jagmeet's willingness to open up about his experience with racism and sexual abuse will help others going through the same experience.

"His courage to tell his story and brave honesty will help people with shared experiences know they're not alone."

The book's title comes from a viral moment during Singh’s campaign for NDP leader, in which Singh responded to a heckler by saying Canadians must respond to hate with “love and courage.”

"This book is the story of my family and my personal experiences growing up – sometimes difficult ones. I often felt alone, unworthy, ashamed,” Singh said in a release from publisher Simon and Schuster Canada. “I hope this book helps some people feel less alone and know that they deserve love and happiness, no matter what they've gone through.”

book singh
Jagmeet Singh's book goes on sale April 23. SCREENSHOT

While Singh is hardly the first politician to release a book during an election year, the publisher claims Love & Courage is “not a political memoir.”“In this personal and heartfelt memoir, readers are invited to walk with Jagmeet through childhood to adulthood as he learns powerful, moving and sometimes traumatic lessons about overcoming adversity and the impact of not belonging,” the release says.

“It's a story of family, love, and courage, and how strengthening the connection between us all is the way to build a better world.” 

Singh was elected leader of the NDP in 2017, before winning a byelection in February 2019 to gain his first seat in Parliament. He was previously a member of provincial parliament in Ontario.

  • With files from Kelvin Gawley

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