Gurratan Singh — former MPP for Brampton East and brother of the federal NDP Leader, Jagmeet Singh — is considering a run for the Ontario NDP leadership.
Gurratan Singh told QP Briefing he’s “been approached by people who’ve asked (him) to consider it,” and he’s “just keeping our doors open at this point.”
“I’m definitely open to the idea,” Singh said.
Gurratan Singh lost his seat in the PCs’ sweep through Brampton, where they flipped three ridings the NDP had won in 2018. The other two were held by Sara Singh (no relation), the party's former deputy leader, and Kevin Yarde, who left the party shortly before the election after failing to secure the party’s nomination.
Singh said he believes the most important thing to take into account in the leadership race is forming the government in the next election. "And the way to do that is by focusing on the 905. And it's so important that whoever is leader that they focus on growing, taking back what we lost in the 905.”
Before Singh’s brother, Jagmeet, jumped to federal politics, he was the MPP for the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton, which was dissolved into a number of Brampton and Mississauga ridings, including Brampton East.
Singh would not only be the first person of colour to hold the Ontario NDP leadership if he wins but would also be part of the first sibling duo to hold leadership of any party provincially and federally.
The rules for the leadership contest, including the timeline for electing a new leader, were meant to be voted on Tuesday night, but procedural debates delayed the vote. A number of unions affiliated with the NDP, who have a quarter of the vote in leadership elections, have called for the leadership election to be held in February to avoid conflicting with municipal elections and contract bargaining negotiations.
Singh is joining a crowded race of contenders to succeed outgoing leader Andrea Horwath after her 13-year reign. MPPs Catherine Fife, Marit Stiles, Joel Harden, Wayne Gates, Sol Mamakwa and Laura Mae Lindo have all publicly entertained the idea of a leadership run. Faisal Hassan, who lost his seat to the PCs in York South-Weston, has also said he’s considering a bid.