Federal NDP leader begins tour of Alberta in Calgary

CALGARY — Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal NDP party, began his three-day tour of Alberta on Saturday in the city of Calgary.

According to a release from his office, the leader was scheduled to meet with Calgarians at the East Village Beer Garden and attend a pancake breakfast nearby.

During the event, he took the time to discuss his party’s plans to help working families.

“People want to see a diversification of the economy,” he told the media. “That’s really important for people and I want to make sure we do all we can to support Alberta, to support workers and get them the jobs they need.”

Singh said a number of people also spoke with him about the cuts to health care.

“Just on my way in, people were talking about how afraid they are that in a pandemic, there are cuts to nurses, cuts to health-care and Jason Kenney and the Conservatives are making things really tough for people.

“I want people to know that we are invested in health care and make sure that when you need health care, it’s there. The Alberta NDP has been strong on this, we’re going to continue to fight on this.”

Singh also addressed the rise of Islamophobia and other hate crimes targeting minorities. While a number of cases have occurred here, he made it clear that the issue was happening everywhere in Canada, not just Alberta.

“It’s not just an Alberta problem. We’re seeing a rise of Islamophobia across the country. It’s really heartbreaking and it reminds us that hate is not something that’s isolated.

“Hate is like a fire – when people are targeted based on their religion, we know it can spread to people based on their gender, their sexuality and their race. We’ve got a collective responsibility to stand against hate.”

A federal election has not been called, but recent visits from both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Erin O’Toole have fuelled talk that it might happen in the coming days.

Singh’s NDP have just one seat in the province, held by Heather McPherson in Edmonton Strathcona.

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