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Singh to Run Locally, Act Nationally in Burnaby Byelection

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After coasting to victory in the federal NDP leadership race last year, Jagmeet Singh decided against seeking a seat in the House of Commons and embarked on a different journey.

He launched an introductory national tour. Visiting every province and territory, pledging to have “100,000 conversations across Canada” on a “get-to-know-me” tour, it was an attempt to lay an NDP foundation that he could build on in anticipation of the 2019 federal elections.

On Aug. 8, Singh finally announced he will run in a byelection in Burnaby South, a riding in a Metro Vancouver suburb 3,300 kilometres from his home in Ontario.

Singh will run to replace outgoing Burnaby South MP Kennedy Stewart who resigned the seat for his Vancouver mayoral candidate race.

“Canadians can’t afford to wait any longer. Burnaby can’t afford to wait any longer,” Singh said at his announcement event Wednesday at an outdoor movie studio in South Burnaby. Roughly 150 supporters came to hear him speak.

According to David Moscrop, a political scientist at Simon Fraser University, Singh can’t afford to wait any longer either. The “get-to-know-me” tour was a risky strategy, and NDP support is still stagnant at best.

The NDP has had a strong provincial presence in recent years, but has been called “completely irrelevant” at the federal political level.

According to Moscrop, it is essential for Singh to hold a seat in the House of Commons to build NDP support federally.

“He needs to prove himself as a leader to the House, the country, the party, and to the caucus,” Moscrop added.

But why Burnaby South?

Moscrop believes the answer was forced by the resignation of Stewart.

“All of a sudden there’s an empty seat, and the other NDP prospects aren’t particularly encouraging right now,” he said. “Why not go for it?”

In the 2015 federal election, Stewart defeated Liberal candidate Adam Pankratz by 547 votes.

Though Singh may have limited experience and knowledge of the local Burnaby issues and concerns of voters, he announced that he’s “all in on Burnaby” and will move to the riding if he wins.

His announcement focused on the immediacy of national policy reform. But Singh argued that the issues of health care, affordable housing and the $9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion were both local and national issues.

According to Moscrop, that duality is just the nature of having a local representative who has be a part of the national conversation.

On healthcare, Singh told the crowd the NDP would introduce a universal PharmaCare plan and criticized the Liberal government for prolonging the policy development by demanding more studies. He claimed the federal government would save $4.2 billion if a universal PharmaCare plan was established, and accused the Liberals of cutting healthcare spending by $36 billion over the next 10 years.

“Imagine we could invest that money into frontline health providers, shortening wait times for surgical procedures, and build a hospital that we need so badly here in Burnaby,” he said.

On affordable housing, Singh criticized the federal government’s 10-year national housing strategy, an ambitious plan to tackling homelessness, the shortage of new housing units and repairs to existing units over the next decade.

The $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit, which is aimed to help families by providing an average rent subsidy of $2,500 annually, is set to commence in April 2020.

“How many times in your life have you had a crisis, but wait two years before doing anything about it,” Singh said. “We need action now to invest in the solution.”

His plan to fund these ambitious plans: “closing tax loopholes and offshore tax havens.”

On the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Singh made his intentions clear but did not present a plan to stop it.

“I’m running because we don’t need our government to invest billions of public dollars in a 65-year-old leaky pipeline,” he said. “We need our government to invest in clean energies for today.”

According to Moscrop, the pipeline could give Singh an edge over any byelection opponents.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a local issue because Burnaby hosts a terminus and is on the frontlines of the protests. Moscrop added that the opposition to the pipeline is higher in Burnaby than most places and maybe even the highest in the country.

Though a date for the byelection has yet to be set and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to approve the byelection, Moscrop says it should occur before March 14, 2019. He anticipates a Liberal contestant.  [Tyee]

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With man's fatal shooting, 2018 ties for Toronto's deadliest year on record

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With the shooting death of a man in Toronto‘s west end Wednesday morning, the total number of homicides in the city this year has tied with a record high number of deaths set almost three decades ago.

Emergency crews were called to Ann Arbour Road, a residential side street east of Weston and Albion roads, shortly after midnight.

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“We received several 911 calls for the sound of gunshots,” Toronto Police Duty Inspector Jim Gotell told reporters early Wednesday morning.

“Police attended the scene and we located a vehicle with a male victim inside who had been shot.”


READ MORE:
Looking back at 1991, Toronto’s record year for murders

A police spokesperson said officers tried to perform life-saving measures, but the victim didn’t have any vital signs.

A Toronto Paramedics spokesperson said the victim, who is believed to be in his 20s, was shot in the head numerous times.

Paramedics rushed the man to a trauma centre.


READ MORE:
Toronto police plead for info in 3 unsolved shootings in the city’s northwest

Gotell said officers were canvassing the neighbourhood looking for evidence and surveillance. Members of the canine and forensic identification units were called in to assist with the investigation.

Police hadn’t released details about suspects as of early Wednesday morning.


Wednesday’s shooting came as Toronto has been plagued with many high-profile gun incidents in 2018.

The man’s death is the city’s 89th homicide. Toronto police said the record for the highest number of homicides in a single year, 89, was set in 1991.

Meanwhile, anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-3100 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

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Shooting in Humberlea leaves 1 male dead: police

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Codi Wilson, CP24.com</span>


Published Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:13AM EST


Last Updated Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:00AM EST

One male has died in hospital following a shooting in Humberlea overnight.

Police were called to the area of Ann Arbour Road, located near Albion and Weston roads, at around midnight after residents in the area reported hearing the sound of gunshots.

Officers from 31 Division quickly responded to the scene and found a male in the driver’s seat of a Chrysler 200.

"We located a vehicle here and inside the vehicle we located a male who had been shot," Duty Insp. Jim Gotell told CP24 at the scene on Wednesday morning.

The sergeant who first responded to the shooting performed CPR on the victim, who was without vital signs after sustaining a gunshot wound to the neck.

"The male was taken by ambulance to Sunnybrook Hospital but unfortunately he was pronounced dead," Gotell said.

Police have not yet released the name or age of the victim but say he did not reside in the area where he was found.

"At this point in time, the investigation is now being turned over to the homicide squad," Gotell said.

Homicide Det. Mike Carbone is leading the investigation.

"We have our police dogs. We have out forensics people. We are currently investigating what happened," Gotell added.

Bullet holes were visible in one of the doors of the Chrysler.

Investigators have not provided any information on possible suspects but witnesses reported seeing a person running through backyards in the area.

The fatal shooting is Toronto’s 89th homicide of 2018.

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Man shot to death in north end is Toronto's 89th homicide this year — tying grim record set in 1991

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A male was shot to death overnight Wednesday in north Toronto, marking the city's 89th homicide of this year — tying a grim statistical record that has stood for nearly three decades. 

Police were called to the area of Albion and Weston roads around midnight after some 10 gunshots were reported. 

Officers found one male victim badly injured and "without vital signs." He was taken to a trauma centre, where he later died of his wounds. 

Police did not have information about possible suspects.

Homicide detectives were at the scene early Wednesday. 

The victim's death brings to the total of slayings in Toronto this year to 89, a figure that has stood as the most homicides in a single year in the city. It was set in 1991. 

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