On the eve of the English debate, Jagmeet Singh and the NDP toured Ottawa’s Farmers’ Market hoping to sway voters to consider an orange alternative.
Singh shook hands, smiled, and thanked customers and vendors in the Ottawa-Centre riding; joined by former party leader Ed Broadbent.
“We're going to make sure we stop giving money to oil companies,” said Singh to a young girl. “And we give money instead to clean energy… it’s the energy that’s made without pollution.”
While some supporters were not old enough to vote, Singh was out trying to empower voters to think about change.
“Liberals and conservatives haven’t really been fighting for people. They've been fighting for those at the very top. New democrats, we're in it for people,” said Singh to a group of reporters.October 6, 2019
Broadbent gave Singh a ringing endorsement.
“From B.C. in the west, to central Canada I think the campaign is going extraordinarily well," said Broadbent.
“A lot of people feel like they're not being heard and that their struggles are not being seen and I want to make sure that they know that I see them, and that their stories will be told," said Singh.
Voters in the market, however, spoke about the difficulty of choosing a party and candidate they believe will win.
“This election, I don’t know, it seems to be, and I’ve spoken to a lot of friends. We just don’t know right now. We're all undecided,” said vendor Greg Leese.
At her Indian food stand, Pinky Grewal handed Singh and Broadbent a bag of samosas.
“He’s the real deal,” said Grewal. “Of course, I’d vote for him.”
“I do believe that Canadians are more divided right now than they used to be,” said Roger Presseault.
Jane Hilliard, another Ottawa resident described the frustration many voters have with the current system and political climate.
“What I’m hearing, especially from younger voters, is that last time they voted strategically with the promise of electoral reform and that didn’t happen and so this time they're going to vote with their heads and their hearts,” said Hilliard.October 6, 2019
The NDP leader continues to appeal to voters, divided on the left, to consider his party as the viable alternative in one of the most hotly-contested ridings in the city. Sunday was Singh's third visit to Ottawa in the past month.
“In Ottawa-Centre where we're so politically-involved and politically-active; I think we did have the highest turnout of all ridings last year,” said vendor Andrew Beck.
In Ottawa-Centre, Singh's NDP candidate is Emilie Taman. Liberal incumbent, Catherine McKenna won the riding in 2015. Carol Clemenhagen is the Conservative Party candidate, Angela Keller-Herzog is the Green party candidate.
Election Day is October 21st. The English-language debate airs live Monday night on CTV, CTV News Channel and CTVNEWS.ca.