Jagmeet’s winning honeymoon.

Burnaby South electoral district is not your typical first choice for honeymooners. It is no resort. The electoral district is not even middle class, includes migrants from many countries and probably more like many of the heavily ethnic areas of Toronto than of any other Canadian city. Yet it is where Jagmeet Singh and his princess have spent the last couple months to win the federal by-election called by prime minister Trudeau.

With a turn-out of 29 per cent of voters, it was a classic by-election situation. The NDP worked hard and brought out their vote.

For British Columbia, it was a confused and concerning race. With both conservatives and liberals supporting the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline, many of their supporters sat on their hands. Where the protest was serious was the ability of Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party to garner just over ten per cent of the vote with what was denounced as a racist campaign.

Married last year in a colorful Sikh ceremony in Mexico, Jagmeet Singh and Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu have been meeting the voters in Burnaby since he decided this is the electoral district he wanted to send him to Ottawa. The attractive Gurkiran is a fashion designer and seems to be not far from her husband’s side since they set up housekeeping in Burnaby.

But Jagmeet is heading for a brief stint in Ottawa as leader of the new democrats. And then, the entire exercise begins again for the October general election. Whether he can duplicate the win again in October is very much the question.

In the east, we went to bed last night having little awareness of how the B.C. by-election was going. The by-elections in Outremont in Montreal and York Simcoe were open and shut, easy to predict. No surprises there. As precursors of the federal election to come, the three by-elections told us little. It was a loss of one seat for the NDP and the gain of one seat for the liberals. And Maxime Bernier’s new party was just an also-ran.


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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