Jagmeet Singh was greeted by dozens of enthusiastic supporters as he stepped off his tour bus in Duncan Friday morning.
Singh, the leader of the federal NDP, made a brief visit to the Cowichan Valley as he was making his way to Victoria to participate in the climate strike taking place at the province’s legislature on Sept. 27.
Standing with Alistair McGregor, who is running for reelection for the NDP in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding, Singh said the riding, like many others across Canada, is facing an affordable housing crisis.
He said that if he becomes prime minister after the federal election on Oct. 21, his government will partner with community organizations to build 500,000 new affordable houses in Canada in the next 10 years.
“But many people need help right now, and we would offer annual subsidies of up to $5,000 in rental support as a way to deliver immediate help for those who are living on the edge,” he said to the applause of the gathered supporters.
“That would help many in the Valley as well.”
Singh said an NDP government would start expanding the nation’s health-care system with a comprehensive, universal, public pharmacare program.
“As well, about 4.3 million Canadians don’t regularly visit dentists because they can’t afford to,” he said.
“Under an NDP government, dental care will be free for households making under $70,000.”