Olivia Chow, widow of Jack Layton, deplores the use of “strategic voting”

Olivia Chow urged Canadians to avoid “strategic voting” that would push progressives to vote Liberal just to avoid the election of a Conservative government.

“I wish other leaders, especially the Liberals, did not use fear as a factor,” said Chow, as she accompanied the NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in the former riding of her late husband, Jack Layton.

“Because fear is [un sentiment] in the very short term: hope is much longer term, is much more optimistic and strengthens confidence, builds our country, ”she said.

Mr. Singh’s campaign during this final week before the election focused mostly on criticism of Justin trudeau and strategic voting.

Jack Layton’s former riding of Toronto-Danforth has been in the hands of Liberal Julie Dabrusin since 2015. Ms Chow, herself a former politician, lamented this “boring” strategic vote that has been used against New Democrats for 50 years .

She also believes that her late husband would have been very proud of the campaign led by Mr. Singh, a “courageous leader” who is able to “connect with ordinary people”. The NDP leader wants this riding of Toronto-Danforth to bear the name of his late predecessor.

In the 2011 federal election, Mr. Layton led the NDP to its best ever result, during the infamous “orange wave”. He died of cancer just over three months after this historic electoral breakthrough.

Ms. Chow’s call against strategic voting was denounced by the Liberals, who pointed to similar NDP strategies in the riding where the leader of the Green Party is running, Annamie Paul. NDP flyers encourage voters to vote NDP by accusing the Greens of bickering with each other. According to the Liberals, this is tantamount to inviting strategic voting.

Environmental protesters

Earlier Thursday, in another Toronto riding, protesters called on Mr. Singh to make opposition to the logging of old growth forests in Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island a part of this election campaign.

“Indigenous communities must be supported (but) we cannot come in as colonizers and tell them what to do,” Singh replied to the handful of protesters who greeted him as he passed through Davenport on Thursday morning. Liberal-owned riding.

The NDP leader told protesters he had spoken with indigenous leaders in the region, who wanted support in their conservation efforts. But Singh explained that it was important for Indigenous people to make all the decisions that affect resources on their ancestral land themselves.

Nearly 1,000 people have been arrested since May during protests and roadblocks against the exploitation of old growth forests in this part of Vancouver Island. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have started enforcing a court injunction banning dams in several areas near logging sites. The company is also asking the court this week for a one-year extension of this injunction.

Climate Justice Toronto activist Niklas Agarwal says federal New Democrats must stand up and support ending this logging in British Columbia. The 25-year-old environmentalist says Singh is making efforts to connect with young people on social media and dance on TikTok, but he believes New Democrats will lose young voters if the leader does not take a stand.

“Young people need a climate plan that is genuinely bold and transformative,” said Mr. Agarwal. His organization was also disappointed that Mr. Singh did not commit to shutting down the Trans Mountain pipeline in the west.

Mr. Singh has often positioned himself as an ally of Indigenous voters. He was the first party leader to campaign on a reserve: he went on Monday to the Oji-Cree community of Neskantaga in northern Ontario, which is suffering the longest boil water advisory in Canada – 26 years.

Singh will also address the BC Assembly of First Nations, after apologizing earlier this week for not accepting their invitation to speak at their annual meeting.

In the 2019 election, the Liberals snatched the riding of Davenport in Toronto from the New Democrats by a majority of 1,440 votes. But before 2015, this county had voted liberal for fifty years without interruption.

Mr. Singh has also spent the last few days answering questions about his promise to “tax the ultra-rich” and his affordable housing strategy, key elements of the NDP platform, which have however been the subject of reviews because they are not very detailed.

The leader responded on Thursday that the New Democrats are coming up with solutions that have not been presented for a long time but are worth trying. He also clarified that he would never consider taxing capital gains on the sale of a primary residence.

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