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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Jagmeet Singh Fields Questions on Open Line

Owen Sound | by Claire McCormack  

NAFTA, Canada Summer Jobs program among many issues Federal NDP leader discusses

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was on the Open Line show on AM 560 CFOS this morning.

Host Dave Carr interviewed Singh for the full hour-long show while Singh also took calls from listeners.

He weighed in on NAFTA, the TPP, The Summer Jobs Program Attestation form, why he doesn't have a seat in Parliament and his desire to make housing more available to Canadians.

Singh gave his opinion on the Summer Jobs Program's attestation signing requirement, something Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller has been vocal about.

Singh called the attestation divisive and problematic, adding "People shouldn't have to sign away their beliefs." Singh suggests businesses sign commitments not to use their funds in some specific ways, calling it "very appropriate" to guarantee public funds would be used a certain way to offer services and programs to everybody. "I really want to defend the rights of communities based on their identity whether its LGBTQ or otherwise."

The federal NDP leader also briefly addressed the recent controversy involving Hamilton NDP MP David Christopherson.

Singh recently removed Christopherson from his role as deputy chair of the Procedure and House Affairs Committee for voting against the party on a conservative motion regarding changes to the application process for summer jobs program funding, before backtracking and reinstating him last week amid criticism.

Singh said on Open Line he values the ability to be able to re-evaluate a decision.

"I'm willing to revisit the decisions I make and I don't have the arrogance to think that I might have all the answers," he said during his interview with Dave Carr on AM 560 CFOS.

When asked why he's not running for a seat in any riding Singh says it's "Not really in my hands," noting the option exists to ask one of his own party members to resign and then run in that seat,  

"I've actually made it clear that I don't want any of my members to resign, I'm not going to ask them to do that because I think it takes away from a genuine connection to their own communities they've built."

When asked if he would run in a byelection in Quebec for instance, Singh, who is from the GTA responded that he intends to be open to any possibility, but would prefer to run in a byelection in a community he has a connection to.

Singh notes he has 44 MPs who can put forward their ideas in parliament which he feels, frees him up to travel the country and listen to Canadians' concerns.

In response to a caller's comment that Canada is surrendering its sovereignty through protection deals like Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal, Singh agrees, "It offends me that we've got agreements in place in some of the trade agreements like NAFTA which prevent us from making decisions to determine our own future."

Singh is headed for the east coast of Canada where he has planned some so called 'Jagmeet and Greets' in Halifax and the area.

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