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NDP leader arrives in Thunder Bay for a visit

Jagmeet Singh said the Liberals are out of touch and the Conservatives are only pushing for less government, which would mean more corporate greed. 

THUNDER BAY – NDP leader Jagmeet Singh arrived in Thunder Bay on Monday to hear people’s concerns about the state of the economy and offer them some hope. 

He spent the day at a hide camp at Fort William First Nation, at a Unifor meeting with workers, and at the Sikh Temple that opened on Spring Street last year. 

Known as a Gurdwara, the Sikh Temple is a place for prayer and to gather. 

“We want to do some outreach and all the events have been really special,” Singh said while standing outside the temple with Yuk-Sem Won, the NDP candidate for Thunder Bay – Rainy River.

“It's really cool to see the Sikh community here in Thunder Bay growing to the point where they now have a permanent Gurdwara, which is great," he said.

One important aspect of the Sikh Temple is that it helps people in need with food. Singh said a comparison could be made between the Gurdwara and the New Democratic Party. 

There's a lot of shared values, he said. 

“Sikh places of prayer are designed purposely to have four doors. It's supposed to represent each direction – north, east, west, and south,” he said.

“Everyone is welcome from every direction. People are welcome – even if you don't believe in the Sikh tradition or faith, but you just want to come by – and there's this element of serving people with food.

“Members of the community donate some of what they earn so they can provide food to anyone in need,” he said.

“And that's very much the New Democrat philosophy – that we're better off when we take care of each other.

“When we look out for our neighbour, we're all better off. Every one of us can build a better life when we take care of each other that way.”

Singh said the Liberals are out of touch and the Conservatives are only pushing for less government, which would mean more corporate greed. 

“Less government means more exploitation by the rich. It means greedy CEOs would rip you off even more,” he said. 

Singh said people are frustrated by the cost of living and they want a party in power that will offer real solutions. 

“I think that there's a lot of frustration and that frustration is very warranted. When people see that they can barely buy their groceries or it's hard to make rent, they're seeing their cell phone bills and their internet fees so expensive every month.

“And they see the CEOs of those companies raking in huge benefits or huge bonuses and making lots of money – more money than they've ever made.

“It feels like the system is rigged against you – that it's hard to get by. That's a very frustrating thing and I get why people are angry. Then they see the government doesn’t do anything about that . . . and they feel a bit more frustrated. 

“I get that and what I hope to do is channel that frustration towards real solutions. We can take on corporate greed that is driving up the cost of our food."

Singh said the NDP can take on landlords who are driving up the cost of housing.

“We can take on the telcos which are directly federally regulated to make it more affordable for people when it comes to their now essential access to the internet.

“All these things are things we can solve. And so, I want to hear people's frustration and anger and then give them some hope.”

Brandon Walker

About the Author: Brandon Walker

Brandon is TBnewswatch's managing editor. Born and raised in southern Ontario, Brandon has called Thunder Bay home since 2009.
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