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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

KD Air flights ceased until early March for airline improvements

Focus largely on flight schedules and convenience

Parksville to host firefighters bonspiel

The Parksville Fire Department will host, for the first time, the 61st… Continue reading

Wine, beer and foodies unite to celebrate 11th annual Parksville Uncorked

Four-day festival takes place from Feb. 21 to 24

Jeep bursts into flames on highway near Nanoose Bay

Emergency crews responded to blaze at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read