Federal NDP Leader Wraps Up Northwest Tour

Marek Tkach

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh met with community leaders in Prince Rupert last night, as he wrapped up his three day tour of the northwest.

It's been quite the tour for Singh, as he attempted to touch on the issues facing residents of the largest federal riding in our province.


He had plenty of opportunities to socialize with the constituents of the Skeena- Bulkley Valley riding, as he was joined by MP Nathan Cullen.

"People are really concerned about jobs and trying to maintain the vibrancy of their beautiful communities by encouraging industry, economy, and investments to come boost up the opportunities for people to stay in the riding and community," said Singh, during a stop in Terrace Wednesday.

Singh discussed the speculation surrounding LNG development and Rio Tinto Operations in Kitimat, and how US imposed steel and aluminium tariffs present a major threat to workers in northern BC.

The Singh-led New Democrats supported the federal government's decision to impose retaliatory tariffs on the Trump administration, but they are stressing that alone is not enough.

"Beyond just the retaliatory measures we have to make sure we have in place a plan and program to support the workers that are going to be impacted. We need to have the federal government sit down with workers in the industry and unions to make sure that we have a package in place to make sure that workers are protected if there is an impact to their jobs."

Singh and Cullen participated in a number of meetings throughout the week and one of the recurring topics is the displeasure over how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is handling this year's fishing situation in the northwest.

"This is a serious issue and the way forward has got to be a way forward that has DFO making a pathway to get these rivers back to the positions where they used to be sustaining a massive population of fish." Singh said.

Cullen played the role of tour guide on the three-day trip, and he says Singh's first ever visit to our region has been an eye opener.

"The distances are incredible. If you come from an urban place and you say well we are just going to pop over for a meeting and its two and a half hours later, you're still in the car and you're like where are we going. It's like oh yea this is normal, this is just life. If you are going to represent a place the size of Poland it means moving around a lot." Cullen explained.

The tour began Monday in Smithers and Hazelton, followed by a trip to the Nass Valley, Rosswood, Terrace and Kitimat on Tuesday. The trip wrapped up Wednesday night in Prince Rupert.

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