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

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Nuslhiixwta – A Place of Treasures – celebrates new name

After months of thought and deliberation, Healthy Beginnings now has a new name.

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Most Read