- NDP leader Jagmeet Singh appears briefly without a turban at the beginning of a new French campaign video.
- In the video, he discusses his identity and commitment to fight for justice.
- The video comes as a controversial new law in Quebec forbidding religious symbols for many public servants comes into full force.
It's no secret that the province of Quebec and its citizens have contentious opinions on the display of religious garments and accessories.
When the CAQ government announced its plan to ban public servants in positions of influence from wearing religious symbols, the reactions ranged from anger to celebration.
Now that school is in session, the debate has shifted to educators and their role as public servants. And with an upcoming federal election, politicians are on alert about how to navigate this difficult issue. Perhaps no other aspiring prime minister is as aware of this than the NDP's Jagmeet Singh.
Leader of the NDP, observant Sikh and the first-ever visible minority to lead a federal political party, Singh was born in Scarborough, Ontario to Indian immigrant parents and worked as a criminal defence lawyer until a foray into politics in 2011.
If anyone knows about how difficult it is to be a public servant who wears a visible religious symbol, it's Jagmeet Singh.
Now, with a federal election on the horizon, the leader of the NDP has finally addressed the people of Quebec and spoken about his identity in a new campaign video.
The video (seen below, in French) was released yesterday morning and appealed directly to the sensibilities of Quebeckers.
Singh is fluently bilingual and elegantly discusses his campaign in Quebec to those who might be skeptical of him due to his culture and religion.
At the start, Singh begins by acknowledging that he's not like the other candidates. "Like you," he says, "my identity is my pride. I understand every injustice and have learned to fight against them — and now, I'm ready to fight for you."
Singh describes his party's top issues such as climate change and taxing the rich: "together, we will face Canada's climate emergency, ensuring the rich pay their part with no exceptions for gas and oil companies."
"The future is too important," he says. "It's simple: my name is Jagmeet. You all know the NDP. And now, you will all see what I'm made of."
The NDP's campaign slogan across the country is "In It For You" and so far, the party has attempted to appeal to Canadians and especially Quebeckers from all walks of life.
Singh's NDP is polling far behind the Liberals and the Conservatives, however. Officials are nevertheless hopeful that they can retain their seats in Quebec.
Singh is facing quite the Herculean task in Quebec and must break through established religious symbol prejudices.
Catch Jagmeet Singh on the campaign trail in Quebec starting this September!