Updated: Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Cranbrook

Updated: Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Cranbrook

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the federal New Democratic stopped in Cranbrook as part of a whirlwind tour of the Kootenays, holding a so-called Jagmeet and Greet at the office of Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski, Friday, Nov. 16.

“We have an incredible MP — I want to support him and see the work that he does,” Singh told a media scrum later. “It’s abundantly clear the amazing impact he’s had on the community. Lots of love, lots of support.

“But it’s also important for me as federal leader to understand the issues, concerns and problems that all Canadians are facing. And I really want to spend some time in the East Kootenay to get a sense of that.”

While in the area, Singh met with local First Nations leaders and Labour leaders, “to talk about some of their concerns and some of the things they see that we can improve on in society.”

Housing issues, both locally and nationwide, are a particular focus of Singh and his party.

“We also met with community leaders on the homelessness and housing front,” he said, further to his Kootenay visit. “We know that housing is a massive crisis, and it’s often relegated to urban centres that it becomes a big topic … but it’s truly a national crisis. Here in the Kootenays we know it’s an issue; it’s hard to find housing, vacancy rates are very low — close to one per cent — and there are really no options for affordable housing.

“This is something I’m committed to doing something about. We’ve been pushing since I became leader very aggressively on building units immediately … we need to provide some relief.”

The housing crisis was a topic Singh spoke about to the crowd that had come down to meet him Friday, and he spoke of the housing issues his own family faced when he was growing up.

“I have an understanding of the challenges that many Canadians face, and continue to face,” he said afterwards. “It’s given me that insight. But at the end of the day, I’m only here today because people lifted me up. People supported me. Social programs helped me out. And that’s really my motivation. I want to build a Canada where we take care of one another, where we have programs we can rely on, that can lift people up and help them.”

Since elected as NDP leader one year ago, and with his subsequent travels around Canada as leader, what has struck Singh are the common denominators, both positive and negative, that communities and regions share.

The labour shortage and housing issues are among the problems.

“Many employers have opportunities for work, but they don’t have people to fill those jobs,” Singh said. “In addition, lots of people are talking about housing, and issues that we would think of as big city issues, but they’re everywhere, in small communities and diverse places.”

But he has also noticed a common thread of compassion as a national trait.

“The thing that I found most striking, having travelled across the country, is that despite the fact there are intense regional differences … there is actually so much we share in common. There is actually a spirit of wanting to care for your neighbour, of wanting to care for one another — that spirit is something I’m really proud of.”

The federal election is one year in the cure, and Singh said he and his party are focussing on showing Canadians there is an alternative.

“If people want to build a brighter future where we take care of one another there is a real option for folks. Things like housing — we know the Conservatives don’t care, they’re part of the reason we’re in this position, because they’ve abandoned investing in housing and building units.

“The Liberals talked about caring, but haven’t actually delivered anything, and their only line is to release funding after they’re elected. Which again, which is not something guaranteed, and is a promise they may or may not follow through on. We’re committed to immediately doing something.

A national pharmacare program is also a plank in the NDP platform.

“We’re proposing that the only way to lower costs for all Canadians and for businesses, the only way to ensure justice for everyone is to have a system where medication is covered for everyone.”

“Those contrasts are something we’re going to show more and more, we’re going to show the solutions to problems, and that’s going to be what we do for the next year.”

Photo (above): Jagmeet Singh talks to the crowd at a meet and greet at MP Wayne Stetski’s office Friday, Nov. 16. (Barry Coulter photo)

Photo (below): Left to right: Cranbrook firefighter Murray Robertson, Singh, Firefighter Gregory Green, MP Wayne Stetski. (Barry Coulter photo)

 

Updated: Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Cranbrook

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

210615
The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Most Read