Jagmeet’s Story

cover of Jagmeet Singh's book features a band of yellow in which he is riding a bike wearing a grey suit and a yellow turban

I like Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. I don’t yet know whether or not I like him enough to vote for him. He is the first turban-wearing Sikh elected in Ontario. He’s smart, accomplished, and, like most people, makes loads of mistakes.

Voters expect political newbies to come out of the gate knowing everything they should know. Word around the federal NDP is that most of the wizened elders fled the ranks after the defeat of Tom Mulcair and the death of Jack Layton. No one left in the party has enough experience to guide Singh through the process.

This doesn’t excuse his refusal, for example, to publicly denounce a known terrorist. He’s made a few doozies and they’re on him. Mostly, he’s a bit of a mystery to Canadians. We don’t know a lot about him but that’s about to change.

An excerpt from his forthcoming memoir, Love & Courage, came out this week. In it, Singh writes of the racism he endured while growing up in Windsor. And he revealed that his taekwondo instructor sexually abused him. Singh is 40. This happened in the 80s, not that long ago. Even the Prime Minister is praising Singh for his bravery. Revealing such abuse is not an easy thing to do, but it helps many others when you do it.

He’s a fascinating guy, a criminal lawyer, young for a federal party leader and environmentally conscious to his core. He overcame astronomical odds to get to the position he holds and the more we learn about him, the more fascinating he becomes. I hope he gets a fair shake in this fall’s election. I’m not sure he’s ready to be Prime Minister but then again, many said that about Justin Trudeau, and Andrew Scheer is in a similar situation. Regardless, I’ll be buying Love & Courage and learning what I can about Singh before October rolls around.

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