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

Alberta reports just seven new COVID-19 cases

‘Today’s numbers mark an occasion to be celebrated’

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake grads celebrate amidst pandemic

A group of local businesses band together to throw two days worth of celebrations for the graduates

Sylvan Lake RCMP continue to search for missing man

43-year-old Steven Michael Hull is still missing and Sylvan Lake RCMP are seeking public assistance

Poplar Ridge School receives county funding for new playground equipment

Two new gaga ball pits and a resurfaced basketball court will be going in at Poplar Ridge School

Visitor pay parking returns to Sylvan Lake

Visitor pay parking areas in the downtown and lakeshore areas is once again in effect

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Montreal man believes rough arrest caught on video was racially motivated

Montreal man believes rough arrest caught on video was racially motivated

N.B. police shooting of Indigenous woman leads to questions on ‘wellness checks’

N.B. police shooting of Indigenous woman leads to questions on ‘wellness checks’

Minister says reckoning on police violence against Indigenous people needed

Minister says reckoning on police violence against Indigenous people needed

Nunavut to bring in civilian police review after arrest video: minister

Nunavut to bring in civilian police review after arrest video: minister

Trudeau takes a knee at anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill

Trudeau takes a knee at anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill

Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara faces assault, break and enter, harassment charges

Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara faces assault, break and enter, harassment charges

Black Canadians say racism here is just as harmful as in the United States

Black Canadians say racism here is just as harmful as in the United States

Most Read