NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh won the Feb. 25, 2019 byelection and will now represent the riding of Burnaby South in Parliament.He walked away with 39 per cent of the vote (8,884 votes), followed by Liberal candidate Richard T. Lee’s 26 per cent and Conservative Jay Shin’s 22.5 per cent.Here’s five things to know about Singh.In 2011, Singh lost his first attempt to enter politics.Singh’s first attempt to enter politics in 2011 was not successful. The longtime Toronto-area resident had run for federal government in the Brampton, Ont. riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton but lost to Conservative candidate Bal Gosal by 539 votes.Later that same year, he ran for a provincial seat in the overlapping riding and was elected with 38 per cent of the vote. After he was announced the winner, Singh gave a victory speech in English, French and Punjabi.In 2017, Singh stepped down from his provincial seat after winning the federal NDP leadership race. He became the first member of a visible minority to lead a national political party. In 2019, he won a byelection in the B.C. riding of Burnaby South to secure a seat in parliament.
Singh has been hailed a ‘personality to watch’, ‘the greatest showman’ and the ‘most stylish politician in Canada.’In 2012, the Toronto Star named Singh one of its “12 to watch in 2012.” In a profile, Singh was described as “not your typical New Democrat” and “one of the youngest, most dynamic MPPs at Queen’s Park”, a “trailblazer in Ontario politics.”A Toronto Life feature last year called Singh “the greatest showman,” with a following that “should make Justin Trudeau nervous”, while a 2017 piece called him the “king of politician Instagram,” thanks to his photographs from international trips and of his well-cut suits. Earlier in 2013, Singh was also named among “the new power set” by the outlet.Even popular magazine GQ chatted with Singh in 2017, the product of which was a piece that hailed Singh as an “incredibly well-dressed rising star in Canadian politics.”“Jagmeet Singh looks the way you hope a progressive politician would,” begins the GQ piece. It’s safe to say Singh captured some attention on his way up through the political sphere with his approach and style.
Singh’s work as a lawyer paved his way into politics.Singh has a science degree from the University of Western Ontario and a law degree from York University’s Osgoode Law School. He was called to the bar in 2006 and has worked throughout the Greater Toronto area, later opening his own firm.Much of his work revolved around advocating for charter rights. In an interview with GQ, Singh said his entry into politics was largely due in part to his work in law: “As a lawyer I continued to do human rights work with local organizations and cultural communities that felt their political representation was inadequate; that the elected officials we had were not tackling the issues that mattered to them.”Singh’s younger brother Gurratan is also a lawyer by trade but was elected last year in the Ontario provincial election in the riding of Brampton East. He has also served as Singh’s advisor during his campaigns.Singh and wife Gurkiran Kaur recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary.Singh and Kaur first met in 2010 when the former gave a presentation to Kaur’s class at York University. The pair went on a date in 2011 and kept things casual until 2017, when they went public with their relationship.In January of 2018, Singh topped any photo-op Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had ever set up by inviting media to Toronto restaurant Vegetarian Haven – where the pair had their first date – to witness his proposal. The NDP leader got down one knee and proposed in front of family and friends as a quartet performed Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” Kaur said yes.The couple married the next month, with a ceremony in Toronto and more festivities in Mexico. They celebrated their one-year anniversary on Feb. 22, 2019.
Singh’s victory song is Post Malone’s “Congratulations.”Singh has said that during his NDP leadership campaign, he listened to Post Malone’s “Congratulations” “literally everyday.”“Something about the bravado laced confidence of the track touched on the spirit of our campaign,” he wrote in a Dec. 12, 2017 Instagram post. “We were setting out to achieve something that had not been achieved in the history of our country.“It takes a little bravado to do that.”“Congratulations” was released as the promotional single for the American rapper’s debut album Stoney. The track reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 11 and has been certified eight times platinum. Singh rapped along to the song at his Burnaby victory party following the Feb. 25 byelection.