Thirty-Eight year old Sikh lawyer Jagmeet Singh becomes new NDP leader
By Siva Sivapragasam
Thirty-Eight year old Sikh lawyer Jagmeet Singh has become the National Democratic Party (NDP) leader taking 53 per cent of the vote for leadership.
Jagmeet Singh will now lead the federal political party at the next federal election.
Singh won the ballot for leadership taking 53 per cent of the vote which was above the combined vote of 47 per cent of the other three contestants – Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Guy Caron.
Singh has represented the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton at Queen’s Park since 2011. The unmarried MPP served as the Ontario NDP party’s critic for justice and consumer services before party leader Andrea Horwath named him her deputy in 2015.
Singh is a criminal defence lawyer who speaks fluent English, French and Punjabi. Singh’s birthplace was Scarborough, a multi-ethnic neighbourhood. Singh’s father was a psychiatrist.
Singh took up martial arts as a youngster, captained his high school wrestling team and won the Toronto championships in Brazilian jiu-jutsu.
He obtained a law degree from Osgoode Hall in Toronto and practised as a criminal defence lawyer. His brother, Gurratan Singh, now runs the firm.
Jagmeet Singh will become the first non-white leader of a major federal political party in Canada.
In his victory speech, Singh remarked “So from Tommy to David, Ed, Audrey, Alexa, Jack and Tom and today to all of us, we are the party that is building a better Canada. It is in us that you can see the future of our country, how great our country will be with a New Democratic government.”
(Picture Courtesy: Canadian Press)