Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is either being deluded, wilfully ignorant or weirdly defiant in his response to his party getting shellacked in a recent byelection.
Singh, the Burnaby South MP, spoke with the Canadian Press about his party’s announcement that they will cut Canada’s emissions almost in half over the next decade as he tries to stake out a claim to the climate change agenda in the looming federal election.
“The pledge is one contained in an NDP motion expected today (Monday) in the House of Commons that will lay out eight broad strokes of the NDP’s climate change platform,” says the CP story. “The motion asks for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to declare ‘an environment and climate emergency’ as well as pledge to cut emissions more deeply, eliminate government aid to the fossil fuel industry and cancel the planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.”
The story also adds: “The motion comes just one week after the Green Party earned a resounding victory in a Vancouver Island byelection which most political observers – Singh included – believe was a message from voters for politicians to start taking climate change more seriously. Singh however insists today’s motion is not an attempt to beat back Green support, which would affect both NDP and Liberal fortunes in the fall. In fact Singh insists whatever message voters were sending last week in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, it was to the governing Liberals, not the NDP, even though the NDP won the seat in 2015.”
“When voters want to send a message it’s to people making the decisions,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see people sending a message on climate change.”
That is some serious spin-doctor work by Singh.
Sure, voters might be sending a message to the Liberals, but they chose the Greens to do it and not the NDP, which won the riding in 2015 by a wide margin. This time, the NDP finished in third place. The NDP needs people to fall in love with its leader and its policies, and that just isn’t happening right now.
So good on the NDP for trying to grab the climate change spotlight with a bold policy, but don’t sell us that the byelection was anything but alarming.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44