KAMLOOPS — "Stunning" and "historic."
The reaction of Kamloops lawyer and former local NDP candidate Bill Sundhu in regards to Jagmeet Singh's election as federal NDP leader Sunday.
Singh won the leadership on the first ballot, beating out competitors Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, and Guy Caron.
"It's a stunning breakthrough in Canadian politics," Sundhu told CFJC Today. "It's the first time that any major political party has had a non-white leader elected and I think it's also another breakthrough in the sense that Mr. Singh is 38, the Conservative leader Mr. Scheer is 38 and (Prime Minister) Mr. Trudeau is 45. It's a new generation now that is emerging as leaders in Canada."
Sundhu ran unsucessfully for the NDP in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo in the 2015 federal election and helped organized for Mr. Singh's leadership bid in Kamloops. He says he's excited for the party's prospects with Singh at the helm.
"That thing about Mr. Singh is he's a very dynamic leader and I think he offers tremendous potential for breakthrough for the NDP amongst new Canadians and young people."
But does Singh have what it takes to help the NDP win power?
"He has two years until the October 2019 election to get out there and build his name and his profile. He has a unique ability to connect with people in crowds. He's very media savvy, he's very active in social causes and cultural issues as well. I think the biggest potential for him is for the NDP to increase their voter support amongst new Canadians particularly in suburban communities in southern Ontario, Lower Mainland, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, that type of riiding as well. I think the NDP wants to grow and adapt and it's a new generation of leader."
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