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.

Just Posted

Castlegar Realtor honoured for achievements

Re/Max recognized Castlegar and Grand Forks realtor Lorene MacGregor

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Facing high regulatory barriers, Kootenay cannabis producers gather for support

Symposium on barriers facing legalization attended by hundreds

Fruitvale man, 25, dies after falling from zipline in Thailand, reports say

Bangkok Post says man fell from Flight of the Gibbon zipline in Chiang Mai

U.S. and Canada continue to talk Columbia River Treaty

Katrine Conroy says flood risk and hydro power were topics of discussion

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read