Brampton’s Jagmeet Singh is leading the fundraising parade in his plan to become leader of the federal NDP, showing that his efforts to broaden the party’s base could be paying off. Financial reports filed this week with Elections Canada for the April-June quarter show the Bramalea-Gore-Malton MPP has raised $353,944 since joining the race to replace Tom Mulcair inmid-May.
Northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus raised $123,574, while Manitoba MP Niki Ashton raised $70,124 and Quebec MP Guy Caron made $46,970.
British Columbia MP Peter Julian raised $28 673 before he dropped out of the race about a month ago, leaving Singh and the three other candidates to fight it out ahead of the October vote.
The numbers reflect the progress of Singh’s campaign strategy of broadening the party’s membership — especially in the Sikh community around the GTA and Metro Vancouver areas.
That’s where about 90 per cent of Canada’s Sikh’s live, including more than 125,000 in Peel Region.
“I am very proud of what our team was able to accomplish in our first six weeks of the campaign,” said Singh on his campaign website.
“We are building the resources to grow our party. Our fundraising numbers show how the NDP can take on the Liberals and Conservatives in 2019.”
Singh is a Canadian-born 38-year old son of Sikh immigrants who came to Canada from the Punjab region of northern India. He was a trial lawyer before being elected to the Ontario legislature in 2011 and is currently the provincial party’s deputy leader and the first turban wearing Sikh politician in Ontario legislature history.
He has run a campaign focused on inclusion and social and economic justice for all Canadians – a traditional NDP brand — but has come under fire from other leadership rivals for his plan to reform seniors’ pensions.
He has pledged that a Singh-led government will implement the Canada Seniors Guarantee that would combine a number of existing seniors’ benefits into a single, income-tested benefit. This includes Old Age Security (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), the Age Credit,
and the Pension Income Credit. By adding the Age Credit and the Pension Income Credit, Singh says it would add $4 billion to core
benefits provided by OAS-GIS. While that would help boost payments to low and middle income seniors, critics say it would cut
payment to richer seniors. On his website, Singh’s noted his fundraising numbers show he is attracting new supporters for the
NDP. A cross reference of address, name, and postal code with Elections Canada donor records, show
that about three quarters of Singh’s 1,517 donors have never before given to Canada’s NDP.
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