Jagmeet Singh at Ladysmith's Arts on the Avenue event (Jagmeet Singh/X)

The federal NDP’s, Jagmeet Singh is spending the better part of his week on Vancouver Island to connect with west-coasters to share how his party is working to improve the quality of life for British Coumbians. 

He’s been visiting artists in Ladysmith, students who can’t afford rent in Victoria and he’ll be dropping by a farmers market to connect with artisans and growers in Esquimalt as well. 

His schedule is packed full but there will be plenty of opportunities for people to meet and connect with Singh to try and tell him what they need in a Canadian politician who isn’t familiar with the day-to-day struggles Vancouver Islanders face. 

On Wednesday, August 30th, Singh started his day meeting with students attending UVic or postsecondary on the island, but are having trouble affording the cost-of-living in urban areas.

Laurel Collins, NDP MP for Victoria tagged along with Singh to show him the lay of the land.

At UVic, Singh introduced the NDP’s plan to help lower rent, which focuses primarily on building affordable housing intended for students, which will take pressure off the rest of the rental market and could help lower rent for all Canadians. 

After his meeting with students, he and Randall Garrison, NDP MP for the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke electoral district did a walkthrough at the site of the Nigel Valley Housing redevelopment. 

It is a massive site in Saanich which is to one day be the site of a massive, nine acre complex with five housing and care facilities intended to help a variety of people — from seniors, to families, those recovering from a mental illness and people with developmental and physical disabilities.

Following this walkabout, Singh will be enjoying the sights and sounds of the city until a new day of his Greater Victoria tour dawns. 

On Thursday, August 31st, the NDP leader will be once again joined by Garrison along with Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, this time in Sooke, to discuss the back-to-school costs, which have become too much to bear for many families. 

Tait will be running in the next election in Garrison’s stead following his announcement of not seeking re-election. Until the next election, she continues to serve Sooke as their Mayor. 

The trio of NDPs will then be holding a conference to speak to Greater Victorians about how they plan to provide relief to Canadians who are being impacted by inflation and the current state of the economy. 

Singh will spend his afternoon in Esquimalt attending the Military Family Resource Centre to talk with families who are involved in the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Navy about what is impacting them most.

Following his trip to the base, Singh, Garrison and Tait will continue their day by swinging by the Esquimalt Farmers Market around 5 p.m. to peruse the artisans wares and the produce made by local growers. 

Esquimalt Mayor, Barb Desjardins will be at the market to meet with Singh as well. 

“The Esquimalt Market is a valuable community hub that brings people together and showcases our local growers and makers,” Mayor Desjardins said. 

“This is a great opportunity for any political leader to visit and see community supporting local at its best.”

After the market, Singh will attend the NDP Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke nomination meeting to officially nominate candidate Maja Tait as the new MP for the electoral district. 

The next election in which Tait will be seeking election in the district is scheduled for October 2025, unless a snap election should occur. 

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