New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh has been sworn in as a member of Parliament.
The NDP says Singh becomes the first racialized party leader to sit in the House of Commons. He won a byelection in the British Columbia riding of Burnaby South in February, taking roughly 39 per cent of the vote.
The win means Singh can finally go toe-to-toe in the House of Commons with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — something he hasn’t been able to do since taking over the party reins from Tom Mulcair in October 2017.
In a statement, Singh says he will use his new position to pressure the Liberal government to take action on affordable housing and bringing down prescription drug costs.
He says as a kid, he never would have imagined being in this position.
“I would’ve never imagined that someone who looks like me could ever run to be prime minister,” Singh said in a statement issued by the party on Sunday.
Singh said he is committed to building on late NDP leader Jack Layton’s message of love, hope and optimism with courage.
“I commit to building on Jack Layton’s message of love, hope and optimism with courage,” Singh said. “New Democrats are the champions of the solutions people need now – for Quebecers and all Canadians. We have to have the courage to do what’s right before it’s too late.”
– With files from the Canadian Press