Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, campaigns with Richard T. Lee, the Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South byelection, in Burnaby, B.C., on Sunday February 10, 2019. Federal byelections will be held on Feb. 25 in three vacant ridings - Burnaby South, where NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is hoping to win a seat in the House of Commons, the Ontario riding of York-Simcoe and Montreal’s Outremont. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Trudeau says Liberals will win in B.C. byelection where Singh seeks seat

Trudeau was met by protesters on both sides of the political spectrum

Justin Trudeau said the Liberal candidate in Burnaby South will be a strong voice for the community, as he campaigned on Sunday in the riding where New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh is seeking a seat.

The prime minister told a crowd of supporters that Richard T. Lee served Burnaby, B.C., for 16 years as a provincial legislator and continues to work hard every day to put the best face forward for the city.

“We need strong local voices standing up for you, fighting for you in Ottawa, and that’s exactly what Richard is going to be,” Trudeau said.

“Nobody make any mistake: The Liberal party is going to win this riding of Burnaby South.”

Lee is a former provincial legislator who replaced the Liberals’ first candidate, Karen Wang, after she resigned following an online post in which she contrasted herself, the “only” Chinese candidate, with Singh, who she called “of Indian descent.”

Singh is seeking his first seat in Parliament in the byelection, scheduled for Feb. 25, and earlier Sunday he attended the annual Chinese New Year parade in Vancouver.

After the parade, Singh called on Trudeau to waive solicitor-client privilege to allow former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak about allegations the prime minister’s office pressured her to tell federal attorneys to drop the SNC-Lavalin prosecution in favour of a remediation agreement. Trudeau has denied his office “directed” her.

While the Green Party of Canada has extended a “leader’s courtesy” to Singh by not running a candidate against him, other parties have not. Conservative Jay Shin and People’s Party of Canada candidate Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson are also vying for a seat.

The New Democrats narrowly beat the Liberals in the riding in the 2015 election by about 550 votes. The Conservatives placed third, losing by about 3,600 votes.

Lee said he’s proud to be part of “Team Trudeau” because he believes in transparent, better politics and a strong, multicultural Canada.

“In Burnaby South, we need a committed, local champion for our community,” he said, adding he has lived in the Metro Vancouver city for 32 years.

Singh is a former Ontario legislator who has been campaigning in the riding since last summer.

Trudeau was met by protesters on both sides of the political spectrum at the Burnaby event. Outside, demonstrators clad in yellow vests spoke out against his government’s policies on migration.

While Trudeau and Lee spoke inside the event, a small group of people began shouting anti-pipeline slogans. Burnaby is the terminus of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which Trudeau’s government has purchased and plans to expand.

“I think we also hear a reminder tonight that there are going to be people out there who choose the politics of anger, of fear and of division, and try to shout people out,” Trudeau said.

“But Liberals will stay focused on serving Canadians, on bringing people together and building a better future for us all.”

READ MORE: Liberals reject Karen Wang’s hope for ‘second chance’ in byelection vs. Singh

READ MORE: Jagmeet Singh stakes NDP leadership on Burnaby South byelection

A number of Liberal MPs stood behind Trudeau at the event, including Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. But absent was Wilson-Raybould, who represents Vancouver Granville and earlier attended the city’s Chinese New Year Parade.

Trudeau later attended a Chinese New Year celebration gala at a restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown. He told the packed gala that the Chinese-Canadian community has contributed greatly to the country over generations.

He also said racist, xenophobic policies such as the Chinese head tax or the exploitation of Chinese labour during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway constituted some of the most shameful chapters in the country’s history.

“We cannot forget, for they remind us of our collective responsibility to stand up to discrimination and persecution in all its forms,” he said.

Trudeau did not take questions from reporters at either event. He is set to make an affordable housing announcement and hold a media availability at a rental housing development in Vancouver on Monday before meeting with Telus CEO Darren Entwistle.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Moen tapped to run for Green Party in North Island riding

Moen says all issues should be viewed through environmental lens

VIDEO: Save Wild Salmon demonstrators march in Campbell River

March to put pressure on federal government to fulfill Cohen report recommendations

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

NDP candidate Babchuk a fixture in local politics since 2005

School trustee, city councillor and regional district chair sets sights on being North Island MLA

Multiple incidents of bear-spraying investigated

Police are investigating multiple incidents of people being bear sprayed on Sept.… Continue reading

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read