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Jagmeet Singh bests other Canadian politicos in fund-raising

Jagmeet Singh, who is campaigning to become head of Canada’s New Democratic Party, easily led all other candidates vying for the leadership of the national party

world Updated: Aug 01, 2017 21:53 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
File photo of New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh speaking at an event organised by the Broadbent Institute.
File photo of New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh speaking at an event organised by the Broadbent Institute.(Facebook)

Jagmeet Singh, the Sikh politician seeking to become the next leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, is already gathering momentum in fund-raising, outstripping even Justin Trudeau at the same stage of their respective leadership contests. 

As Elections Canada released fund-raising numbers for the second quarter of this year, 38-year-old Singh easily led all other candidates vying for the leadership of the national party. Singh was denied a visa by India in 2013.

That is particularly notable since Singh only entered the leadership race in May 15, and in approximately a month-and-a-half handily outpaced his rivals who had been in the contest through the entire quarter ending June 30. 

A statement released by his campaign crowed: “Jagmeet Singh, candidate in the federal NDP leadership race, has raised more in the first 47 days than Justin Trudeau or Andrew Scheer at the same point in their leadership campaigns.”

The reference was to comparative fund-raising for the current Canadian prime minister when he ran for leadership of the Liberal Party in 2013, and the new leader of the Conservative Party, who was elected earlier this year. 

The campaign said Singh had raised CA $353,944 in 47 days, while Trudeau reached that amount in 77 days and Scheer in 124. 

The NDP is one of the three major national parties of Canada and emerged as the principal Opposition party in the House of Commons in the 2011 federal elections.

In the statement, Singh said, “I am very proud of what our team was able to accomplish in our first six weeks of the campaign. We are building the resources to grow our party. Our fund-raising numbers show how the NDP can take on the Liberals and Conservatives in 2019.”

 The campaign also stated that 75% of the donations came from people who had never before given to the NDP, while there were 1,517 donors and the median donation was CA $40.

With a significant part of the money received by Singh coming from Ontario and British Columbia provinces, it appears he may be benefiting from the support of enthused Indo-Canadians, particularly Sikhs, many of whom appear to be backing him after having traditionally been with the Liberal Party.

The scale of Singh’s fund-raising achievement is also notable in that he collected nearly three times the total reached by the next highest candidate, Charlie Angus.