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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh Tackles Turban Issue Head-On In French-Language Campaign Ad

The ad comes as the NDP struggles to hold ground in Quebec, with candidates nominated in less than half of Quebec’s ridings. Singh is also facing racism from New Brunswick voters which has forced many local NDPers to support Green.

OTTAWA — NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is tackling the turban issue head-on in Quebec as his party unveiled its slogan and campaign ads ahead of the federal election.

And in a French-language ad targeting Quebecers, leader Jagmeet Singh makes clear that he will be the party’s face in Quebec, despite concerns his turban could turn off voters.

The ad comes as the NDP struggles to hold ground in Quebec, with candidates nominated in less than half of Quebec’s ridings and polls suggesting the party could be facing collapse in the province, reported Postmedia.

The party has chosen “In it for you” as its national campaign slogan, an effort to position the NDP as the party working on behalf of ordinary people. The French slogan, “On se bat pour vous,” translates to “We’re fighting for you.”

Singh is also facing racism from New Brunswick voters which has forced many local NDPers to support Green.

In the English-language ad, Singh tells viewers he’s “different from the other leaders,” because he doesn’t “work for the wealthy and well-connected.” He promises to invest in health care and fight climate change. The spot shows him chatting with voters and playing soccer with a group of children, reported Postmedia.

But the 30-second French-language ad is quite different, opening with a shot of Singh with his long hair down, followed by a glimpse of him winding a turban around his head. “Like you, I’m proud of my identity,” he says in a voiceover. The images send a clear message about Singh’s values to a province that has recently passed a ban on religious symbols for some public sector workers. Under Bill 21, Singh would not be able to work as a teacher or police officer in Quebec unless he removed his turban. The law is popular in Quebec, and the importance of secularism in the province has led to concerns about whether the NDP leader will be able to reach Quebecers.

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