NDP’s Singh says his caucus is united, after backlash to punishment of MP

The 39-year-old former Ontario provincial politician was in B.C. this week, touring Burnaby

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his caucus is united behind him, despite recent discord over his decision to punish a veteran member of Parliament.

After a backlash, Singh reversed his decision to oust Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson from his role as vice chair of the procedure and House affairs committee.

“We’re New Democrats. People are going to have different opinions. It’s not a big deal,” Singh said Thursday after touring a steel fabrication company in Burnaby, B.C.

“Many New Democrats are activists. They are used to speaking truth to power. I’m not so arrogant as a leader to believe that once I make a decision, that’s it.”

Singh dumped Christopherson from his position last week after the MP voted against the New Democrats on a Conservative motion. The motion — defeated by Liberal and NDP members — condemned the Liberal government’s new policy requiring groups that apply for funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program to affirm their respect for abortion rights.

Ontario MP and former leadership rival Charlie Angus publicly chastised Singh for the decision and the leader reinstated Christopherson this week.

Singh insisted on Thursday that he had the full support of his 44-member caucus. Unlike “other leaders,” he said, he doesn’t shout members of his caucus down or tell them to “shut up” and toe the party line.

“We’ve got a strong caucus. It’s a united caucus,” he said. “My style is to listen to folks and to hear them out. I think that’s what Canadians want.”

The 39-year-old former Ontario provincial politician still does not hold a seat in the House of Commons after winning the federal leadership in October. He said he’s “comfortable” where he is.

“If an opportunity does present itself, I’ll still keep an open mind to that. But right now, I’m comfortable with the fact that I’ll spend this time touring the country and meeting folks and hearing their concerns.”

Before speaking with reporters, Singh toured architectural steel manufacturer George Third & Son. He said he wanted to meet with workers who stood to be affected by potential U.S. tariffs.

“We’ve got a strong and vibrant industry … that needs to be protected.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Peewee Okanagan Championship held in Clearwater

Last hockey weekend of the season an eventful one

It’s fast, it’s exciting, and the action never stops!

Team Cattle Penning March 23-24 at the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere

Ground breaks on new hotel project

The Best Western will add 72 new rooms for visitors

What’s a voter to do?

Editor, The Times:

Coolness under pressure

Wells Gray Search and Rescue practise safety skills

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

Most Read