Saanich resident Sabina Singh, here seen with federal New Democratic leader Jagmeet Singh, will run for the party in Saanich–Gulf Islands. (Teale Phelps Bondaroff/Submitted)

Saanich resident to carry NDP banner against local MP Elizabeth May

Sabina Singh will accept nomination Saturday at Saanich Commonwealth Place

Sabina Singh does not appear daunted by the task ahead of her as the federal New Democratic candidate for Saanich–Gulf Islands: to defeat incumbent Member of Parliament Elizabeth May.

For many Canadians, the federal Green Party leader is the face of environmentalism of Canada and enters the 2019 campaign as the two-term incumbent, having first won in 2011 with 46 per cent of the vote, some 12 points ahead of Tory incumbent Gary Lunn. In 2015, she increased her vote total, winning the riding with 54.4 per cent, 35 per cent ahead of Tory candidate Robert Boyd. In both elections, the New Democratic candidate won 11.8 per cent and nine per cent respectively.

Singh said that she would learn a lot of from May during the campaign. “But one person is not a party,” she said. “I believe in what I’m doing.”

Singh is entering federal politics for the first time. A single mother of two, Singh said she entered in part because of concerns over climate change and its impacts on future generations.

“I fear for them and all of their friends,” said Singh, who has taught political science at institutions across British Columbia for 15 years, including the University of Victoria and Camosun College. (By way of background, Singh’s academic work explores issues of Indigenous governance, and she been involved in a number of political and environmental causes).

Canada, she said, needs to elect a New Democratic government under party leader Jagmeet Singh to combat climate change, a process that will require cooperation with other countries, as well as fix its political institutions, in reference to the SNC-Lavalin scandal that has robbed the Liberals of their popularity and rocked the political system at large.

Singh’s pending nomination unfolds against a narrative that sees Vancouver Island as a two-way battle between the New Democrats and the federal Greens, who are planning to turn Vancouver Island, especially Greater Victoria, into a beachhead for future gains across the country with a possible eye towards holding the balance of power in a potential minority parliament, a prospect dismissed by local New Democratic MP Randall Garrison.

RELATED: Green candidate in Saanich riding predicts Green-NDP battle for Vancouver Island

RELATED: Local NDP MP rejects narrative that his riding for the Greens’ picking

Singh strikes a comparable tone, by noting that May essentially represents a party of one, whereby the New Democrats have a “very realistic chance” to form government under its current leader.

“I think we have a good very chance,” said Singh.

Observers of the New Democrats may disagree. While the Orange Wave carried the party to 103 seats and Official Opposition status in 2011, it lost 51 seats in 2015, and at least opinion poll predicts that party could end up with half of that number in the fall of 2019, with Conservatives leading the polls ahead of the ruling Liberals.

Observers have been especially critical of Jagmeet Singh’s performance. Since becoming leader, the party has struggled in byelections, most recently in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, a riding previously held by the New Democrats.

RELATED: ‘Historic moment’ as Nanaimo-Ladysmith elects Green MP

Singh disagrees. Jagmeet Singh, she said, is going to gain profile as the campaign unfolds and the public becomes more familiar with the party’s election platform, which it recently released.

While the New Democrats have always been supporters of the environment, it can also speak to other issues, said Singh.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Saanich–Gulf Islands

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke temporary homeless shelter packs up early

Occupants to leave facility by June 22

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

‘The face of Belmont’: Custodial staff at Langford school pivot to support parents, students

Staff serve as point of contact for parents, students with school

Government Street becomes pedestrian-priority corridor

One block of downtown street closed to cars entirely

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read