Jagmeet Singh’s brother to contest Canada provincial election
There’s a new political power centre in the making in Canada’s largest province of Ontario: The Dhaliwal dynasty.
Five months after Jagmeet Singh was elected leader of the federal New Democratic Party or NDP, his younger brother Gurratan Singh easily clinched the provincial NDP’s nomination to contest Ontario’s elections, scheduled for June, from Brampton, a suburb of Toronto.
Hundreds of supporters cheered on as the 33-year-old was nominated to contest from Brampton East. Given his brother’s hold on the community in the area, it was little surprise that this was a no contest. The newly-created riding, as constituencies are called in Canada, includes much of Bramalea-Gore-Malton, the seat that Jagmeet Singh represented as a member of the provincial parliament. The elder Singh had quit his seat after being elected NDP leader last October.
Gurratan Singh was flanked by Jagmeet and the provincial leader of the NDP Andrea Horwath as the nomination result was formally announced. As the event wrapped up, Horwath tweeted: “Had a blast tonight welcoming @gurratansingh to the team with a little help from his big bro, @theJagmeetSingh. Gurratan is running in #BramptonEast, and together, we are running to win this election! .”
This isn’t Gurratan Singh’s first foray into electoral politics. He ran for the seat of Peel regional councillor in 2014 and lost.
Since then, the criminal defence lawyer has been increasingly politically engaged, having played a crucial role in last year’s NDP leadership election.
When he announced his intent to seek to contest from Brampton East last month, Gurratan Singh said, “I’ve been organising in this community for the past ten years.”
He faced questions similar to those that have plagued Jagmeet Singh in recent weeks. The younger brother has condemned all forms of violence, even as Jagmeet Singh has faced criticism over his appearance at rallies that supported separatism and made a similar statement after that uproar.
But what is clear from Monday evening’s nomination of Gurratan Singh is that parts of Brampton are certainly turning into a pocket borough for the family.