Jagmeet Singh says he will continue to run in Burnaby South

Jagmeet Singh says he will continue to run in Burnaby South
Jagmeet Singh says he will run in Burnaby byelection, despite Brampton opening
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he will continue to stand as his party's candidate in the B.C. riding of Burnaby South, despite news this week that the Liberal MP in his home riding of Brampton is leaving politics. 

"I made it clear my decision to run in Burnaby South and I continue to remain clear on that decision," he told reporters on Friday.

However, under intense pressure to get into the Commons sooner after a shaky start as leader, Singh announced in August that he would run in an eventual byelection in Burnaby South. That seat was vacated in mid-September by former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who ran successfully to become Vancouvers mayor.

Jagmeet Singh to run in B.C. by-election, despite friendlier Ontario opening

Singh's statement comes hours after Brampton East Liberal MP Raj Grewal announced his decision to quit federal politics, citing "personal and medical reasons."

Singh, who held the Brampton riding at the provincial level until late 2017, had previously said he wanted to run in the riding at the federal level. In early August, however, he announced he would be the NDP's candidate in Burnaby South.

Early in the new year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to set an early February date for byelections in Burnaby South and at least two other vacant ridings. He could also add the now-vacant Brampton East to the roster.

A recent poll by Mainstreet Research suggested Singh was running third in the riding, echoing internal numbers both Liberal and NDP MPs have murmured about in the halls of Parliament.

There is a feeling among Liberal ranks that they benefit from Singh remaining the leader of an anemic NDP and don't want to see him fail before the next election.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he still intends to run in a federal byelection in British Columbia, even though a friendlier riding in his hometown of Brampton, Ont. has suddenly opened up.

Under Singh's tenure, a handful of NDP MPs have said they won't run in the 2019 election or have already stepped aside.

On Thursday, Liberal Raj Grewal announced he is resigning immediately as the MP for Brampton East for unspecified personal and medical reasons.

The party sits at 15.8 per cent support in CBC's Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polling data. That number would put it on track for its worst performance since 2004.

Ive made it clear, my decision to run in Burnaby South, and I continue to remain clear on that decision, he said.

Nevertheless, earlier this week, the Liberals confirmed they would not extend a "leader's courtesy" and would put up a candidate to compete against Singh in Burnaby South. The byelection is to replace former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who stepped down for a successful run to be mayor of Vancouver.

On Wednesday, several media outlets reported on an unnamed Liberal official confirming the prime minister intends to call the Burnaby South byelection early in the new year, with the date to be set for some point in February.

Grewal announced his decision to step down in Brampton East the next day. On Friday, Singh reiterated his decision to run in B.C.

Catharine Tunney is a reporter with CBC's Parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. She previously worked with CBC Radio's The House and CBC Nova Scotia. She can be reached at [email protected] or @cattunneyCBC.

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Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh speaks during a press conference to comment on the cuts made by Ontario Premier Ford to planned Ontario Francophone universities, in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018.

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he still intends to run in a federal byelection in British Columbia, even though a friendlier riding in his hometown of Brampton, Ont. has suddenly opened up.

READ MORE: Trudeau to call 3 byelections for February, Singh gets chance to win B.C. byelection as Ontario seat opens

“I’ve made it clear, my decision to run in Burnaby South, and I continue to remain clear on that decision,” he said.

On Thursday, Liberal Raj Grewal announced he is resigning immediately as the MP for Brampton East for unspecified personal and medical reasons.

Singh would likely coast to victory in Brampton East, the riding he represented for six years in the Ontario legislature, now held provincially by his brother Gurratan. Burnaby South, which the NDP won by just over 500 votes in 2015, will be a tougher slog for him.

When he was first elected federal NDP leader last fall, Singh intended to wait until next October’s general election to gain a seat in the House of Commons and he said Brampton East was where he wanted to run.

However, under intense pressure to get into the Commons sooner after a shaky start as leader, Singh announced in August that he would run in an eventual byelection in Burnaby South. That seat was vacated in mid-September by former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who ran successfully to become Vancouver’s mayor.

Early in the new year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to set an early February date for byelections in Burnaby South and at least two other vacant ridings. He could also add the now-vacant Brampton East to the roster.