'This is aboriginal land': Protester confronts Singh over LNG stance at debate
Published Thursday, February 7, 2019 12:59PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2019 3:35PM PST
An angry protester disrupted Wednesday's byelection debate in Burnaby to confront NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh over his support of a controversial LNG project in B.C.
The unidentified man began shouting from the back of the room to criticize Singh, who has also faced some opposition from within his own party for backing the project.
"Why are you picking fights with aboriginal people?" the man called out. "This is aboriginal land here, all of Canada. We can't get Canada back. We've got to live in harmony. But the last part of our land we have, you want to take it for oil? You don't have consent."
Singh acknowledged the man's perspective and said he doesn't support sending RCMP officers to deal with pipeline opponents, which led to last month's showdown at a Wet'suwet'en protest camp near Smithers.
The protester was eventually escorted out of the venue, but not before calling out at Singh one last time.
"I will be back at every one of your rallies," he shouted, triggering some laughter and applause.
Singh is under immense pressure to win the Burnaby South byelection, which could determine his political future. He's facing off against the Liberals' Richard T. Lee, Conservative candidate Jay Shin, and Laura Lynn Thompson of the People's Party of Canada.
NDP candidate Svend Robinson, who is running in the neighbouring riding of Burnaby North-Seymour in the fall election, has spoken out against Singh's LNG support, but said he believes there's room for dissent within the party.
Burnaby South voters are going to the polls on Feb. 25.