As the NDP leader campaigned in a Liberal-held riding, a group of activists called on Jagmeet Singh to make the Fairy Creek old-growth logging standoff an election issue.
“It is necessary to support indigenous populations. Singh addressed a small group of demonstrators in Toronto’s Davenport riding, “We can’t come in as settlers and tell them what to do.”
Singh claims to have met with local Indigenous chiefs who wish to help with conservation initiatives. However, he believes that Indigenous people should be at the helm of any resource decisions made on their customary area.
Almost 1,000 people have been arrested in protests over the logging of old-growth forests in the area on Vancouver Island since May when the RCMP started to enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction against blockades erected in several areas near logging sites. The forestry company is in court this week to apply for a one-year extension of the injunction.
Niklas Agarwal, 25, with Climate Justice Toronto, said the federal New Democrats need to stand up and support an end to all old-growth logging in British Columbia. Agarwal said Singh makes efforts to connect with young people on social media and doing dances on TikTok, but the New Democrats will lose young voters if he doesn’t take a stand.
“As young people we need a climate plan that actually is bold and transformative,” Agarwal said.
The group was also disappointed, Agarwal said, that Singh would not say whether he’d end the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Earlier, Singh faced questions about the New Democrats’ tax on the wealthy and affordable housing strategy, major points of the party’s platform that have faced some criticism for a lack of details.
He claimed that the New Democrats are suggesting things that haven’t been done in a long time, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t give it a shot.
Singh did indicate that capital gains on main properties will never be taxed.
“Under a New Democrat government, that would never happen,” he continued.
Singh also stated that he is unconcerned about progressives voting Liberal and that he has remained laser-focused on opposing Justin Trudeau.
Later in the day, the party will travel to Jack Layton’s former riding of Toronto-Danforth. Julie Dabrusin, a Liberal, has held it since 2015. Singh has expressed interest in having the riding named after his predecessor.
Source_ The Canadian Press