NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is recognized in the House of Commons before taking his place before Question Period, Monday, March 18, 2019 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Nearly 18 months after taking over the leadership of the federal New Democrats, Jagmeet Singh made his long-awaited parliamentary debut Monday as he became the first visible minority to lead a federal political party in the House of Commons.

Escorted into the chamber by his NDP lieutenants, Singh waved to supporters in the public gallery before claiming the seat he won in last month’s byelection in the B.C. riding of Burnaby South.

READ MORE: NDP leader Singh promises action on affordable housing after winning byelection

That byelection — made possible by the departure of former Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart — ended a 17-month exile of sorts for Singh, whose lack of a seat in the Commons made doing his job as leader that much more difficult.

Singh used his first question as leader to press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the issue of housing, citing a mother from his riding who bought a home she can no longer afford and whose children are losing hope about their futures.

“The prime minister is telling families like theirs to wait for help,” Singh said. ”I believe better is possible. Will the government commit to building half a million affordable homes?”

Trudeau did no such thing, instead congratulating the NDP leader, welcoming him to the House and urging his party to support Liberal government efforts to reduce child poverty.

New Democrats are hoping Singh’s presence in the House of Commons marks the start of a new era for the party and the end of a long, difficult stretch in the political wilderness that has been marked by fundraising difficulties and morale issues.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford

Antonio Fernandez, 29, was last seen on Monday, May 25

Crane truck topples over at Abbotsford courthouse construction site

Nobody injured in incident on Trethewey Street and George Ferguson Way

Chilliwack trustee removed from committees, district invites

Barry Neufeld’s censure involves four forms of reprimand due to recent Facebook post

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

Mission senior honours fallen Snowbird

Bruce Smith, 78, decorated his car with various pieces of military memorabilia to raise awareness

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

Death toll rises in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Number has risen to 22, making it the worst to date in B.C.

Fraser Valley libraries to offer contactless hold pick-ups

FVRL Express — Click, Pick, Go service to be offered at all 25 locations starting June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Most Read