Federal NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh tried to get across positive messaging during a visit to Nanaimo this week.
Singh visited with supporters and party members Friday night at Bocca Café, delivering the combination of speechmaking and storytelling for which he’s known. The Harbour City was one of his last stops before the final leadership debate Sunday (Sept. 10) in Vancouver.
Singh talked about the four pillars of his platform, saying he wants to address inequality and climate change and also prioritize electoral reform and reconciliation.
He sees economic, racial and other social injustices in Canada and blamed successive federal governments for allowing the situation to continue.
“We know that inequality is growing,” Singh said. “We’re at the first time in the history of our country where the next generation has less opportunities than the previous generation.”
On the environment, Singh said climate change is an issue for right now, not only for the future. He said he’s got an aggressive plan that includes bolder emission reduction targets and a “super grid” of electricity from renewable sources.
“Instead of building pipelines east to west, let’s build an electric grid east to west,” he said.
On the topic of reconciliation with First Nations, Singh criticized the Liberal government for failing on human rights and said equal funding of welfare services for indigenous children should be a starting point.
“And we can build from there and ensure that we actually deliver on other promises like clean water, like good housing and other important infrastructure demands,” Singh said.
He concluded his remarks Friday with a personal story of perceived racial discrimination. He called for justice and equality and tied his messages together with his campaign slogan, ‘love and courage.’
“The people around us that aren’t doing well – if they’re not doing well, we’re not doing well,” Singh said. “And if we lift up people around us, we rise together. So it takes an act of love to see that we’re connected and it takes an act of courage to demand better, to fight for better, to build a better society.”
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All four New Democratic Party leadership candidates have now visited Nanaimo. The others in the race are Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Guy Caron. Voting for the next NDP leader begins Sept. 18.