OTTAWA – Ontario deputy NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is poised to launch a bid for federal leadership next week, has learned.
Sources familiar with Singh’s plans say he will make the announcement at the Bombay Palace in Brampton, Ont., on Monday night – the venue where he held an election party in 2011 when he entered provincial politics.
They also say his campaign will be led by Michal Hay, executive assistant to Toronto city councillor Michael Layton – the son of late federal NDP leader Jack Layton.
Supporters note Singh is also backed by other New Democrats, including Manitoba legislature member Nahanni Fontaine, party youth wing co-chair Ali Chatur, Quebec organizer and former Layton speech writer Willy Blomme and Peel school board trustee Harkirat Singh.
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Singh, a 38-year-old criminal defence lawyer and turbaned Sikh, was named deputy to Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in spring 2015.
At the time of the announcement, Horwath said Singh had been a “dynamic force” in politics, adding he increased political participation among young people who viewed him as a community leader and mentor.
Inside the provincial wing of the NDP, Horwath also acknowledged Singh’s work to push for provincial reductions of auto insurance rates and improving awareness around precarious employment fuelled by temporary job agencies.
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Singh, regarded as a young and energetic leader, has also received nods from Toronto Life magazine on its lists of “50 Most Influential” and “Toronto’s Best Dressed.”
There are four official candidates in the lengthy race to replace Tom Mulcair as NDP leader in October.
Current contenders include B.C. MP Peter Julian, Ontario MP Charlie Angus, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and Quebec MP Guy Caron.
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First-quarter results from Elections Canada indicate Angus is far ahead of his competition on the fundraising front.
The report, which notes contributions from January to March 2017, showed Angus brought in more than $110,675, Ashton had $65,521, Caron had $57,235 and Julian raised $19,143.08.
The NDP says former veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran and Ibrahim Bruno El-Khoury, the founder of a Montreal consulting firm, are not considered official candidates because they must submit nomination paperwork and a registration fee.
Stogran and El-Khoury’s names appear on the Elections Canada website as candidates while Singh’s does not.