Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visited Belmont Secondary School in Langford on Tuesday and took questions from students about several topics including opioids, carbon tax, electoral reform and homelessness. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits with Langford high school students

Students asked him questions about current political issues

The carbon tax, homelessness, and opioids.

These were some of the things on students’ minds as they asked Federal New Democrat Party leader Jagmeet Singh questions at Belmont Secondary School on Tuesday.

About 250 students gathered with Singh and Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor.

Singh opened his question and answer session with candid comments about some of the hardships he faced growing up such as family illnesses, tuition expenses and having to find ways to support his family.

“I’m not here today in front of you because I earned it on my own,” Singh said. “I’m only here today because people lifted me up.”

READ MORE: Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh coming to Langford

He took questions about the environment, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, affordable housing, carbon tax, women in politics, and equal rights, to name a few.

The students came from a mixture of English and social studies classes and were engaged while he answered their questions.

Singh said he thought it was an honour to be able to speak with youths and hear their questions and concerns. He said he hopes they will think more about the future of Canada and feel optimistic about the fact that things can change.

“I was blown away by the fact that young people are concerned about housing as well,” Singh said. “The fact that young people are worried about it is pretty troubling … [it] shows you how serious the issue is.”

Keagan Tait is a grade 11 student who helped introduce Singh and MacGregor on Tuesday. He said it was a privilege to be able to ask a party leader questions.

READ MORE: NDP’S Jagmeet Singh set to run in B.C.’s Burnaby South riding after nomination

“I think it’s very important for students our age and even younger to learn and engage in political discussion and learn about politics because we are the future of our country,” Tait said.

Another grade 11 student who helped introduce the leaders — Navya Pottumutu — said she looked to Singh as an inspiration.

Pottumutu became a Canadian citizen about two weeks ago and she said Singh was a good example of someone who gives back to the country through his work as a politician and previous work as a lawyer.

“He’s definitely shown me that no matter if you’re Canadian or you’re an immigrant that has turned into a Canadian, you can definitely do a lot more than what an average student might think,” Pottumutu said. “My goal is to serve back to the country for everything it’s given me and my family.”

Belmont Secondary School principal Jim Lamond said hosting political leaders is a good way to give young people an opportunity to ask questions.

“At the end of the day — regardless of politics — they’re local, provincial, federal, global leaders,” Lamond said. “Why not give an opportunity for some of our youth to ask them questions that will hopefully spawn motivation, inspiration and multiple perspectives.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich’s plastic bag ban won’t be affected by the Supreme Court ruling against Victoria

Council amended Saanich’s ban to align with the B.C. Court of Appeal’s ruling in November

West Shore Parks & Recreation to unveil new indoor sports complex by end of January

Grand opening of sport court and turf field planned for Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.

Province rejects two ride hailing operators in Greater Victoria

Two smaller companies rejected in CRD; Uber and Lyft approved in Vancouver

Victoria ranks as 16th least affordable city in the world

Vancouver, as well as the Fraser Valley, Nanaimo and Comox Valley also crack the Top 25

Electric BC Ferries vessels on the move in Victoria

Public invited to watch unloading, transport process

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New U.S. LNG terminal near northwestern B.C. town proposed

AlaskCAN International LNG wants terminal just over Canadian border, but using B.C gas

Couple wonders who’s in a Cariboo photo that’s been hanging in their home for years

Charles and Lynn Dick believe the image was taken at the 70 Mile Road House

‘I would not go’ to China says B.C. traveller concerned about coronavirus

Alice Li said she goes to China every other year but would scrap any travel plans

Royal Canadian Legion expels B.C. member for wearing unearned military commendations

‘Stolen valour is stolen service and it’s just totally wrong’

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

Most Read