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

Just Posted

Happy Easter everyone!

Youngsters are excited for the holiday

UCP candidate Nate Horner triumphs in Drumheller-Stettler riding

Horner looking forward to moving ahead with UCP policies in the coming months

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

Trade show fun!

Annual Stettler Trade Show proves a hit with local residents

Stettler residents cast their votes

Polling station closes at 8 p.m.

‘Open for business:’ Jason Kenney’s UCP wins majority in Alberta election

The UCP was leading or elected in 63 of 87 seats Tuesday night

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Alberta RCMP reminds Albertans how to be ‘egg-stra’ safe this Easter

Put away phone while driving, plan for a designated driver

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Most Read