Gurratan Singh, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s brother told the Star on Friday that he is “seriously considering” a run for the Ontario NDP in Brampton East.
The newly redrawn riding includes much of the constituency that Jagmeet Singh represented during his six-year stint at Queen’s Park. That means Gurratan would be running to win the rough equivalent of his brother’s old seat if he could repeat the suburban breakthrough that started Jagmeet’s political career and eventual rise to federal NDP leader.
“I could continue that legacy,” Gurratan, 33, said in an interview.
“I love this riding, I love the people in the riding and I’ve been connected to it for so long,” he said. “I know the issues that they face, and I think I could be the voice to really advocate for them.”
While he’s never held elected office, Singh is no political newbie.
He has been a close adviser to his older brother through his entire political career, including his runaway victory in last year’s federal NDP leadership campaign, when the Singh machine raked in by far the most money and he won on the first ballot.
Jagmeet has credited Gurratan with pushing him into politics in the first place and has called him “one of my strongest allies and greatest supporters.”
Gurratan Singh also ran for a Peel Regional Council seat in Brampton in 2014, when he lost in a close race to John Sprovieri.
A spokesperson with the Ontario NDP said this week that Singh was seeking the Brampton East nomination in the upcoming provincial election. But Singh said he hasn’t made a final decision yet, even though he’s been speaking to the party about the nomination and doorknocking in the community.
“People are fed up, they’re really fed up with the Liberals,” he said. “This is an amazing opportunity for the NDP right now.”
Like Jagmeet, the younger Singh is a criminal defence lawyer who graduated from Osgoode Hall and runs his own legal practice. In 2015, he worked under Toronto lawyer and social activist James Lockyer, who is known for his work defending people who have been wrongfully convicted.
Singh also sits on the Peel Art Gallery advisory board, is the chair of the City of Brampton’s Inclusion and Equity Committee and co-founded a pop-up restaurant called the Grand Trunk Road, which specializes in “Punjabi comfort food.”