Jagmeet Singh unveils NDP critic roles ahead of Parliament’s return next week | CBC News

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh unveiled his shadow cabinet in Ottawa this morning, giving himself two portfolios that are expected to loom large in the upcoming Parliamentary session: intergovernmental affairs and Indigenous issues.

“Because justice for Indigenous people is so important, because having access to clean drinking water is so important, among so many other basic human rights, and because this government is still continuing to appeal the decision of the Human Rights Tribunal and is effectively taking Indigenous kids to court, I have named myself as the critic for Indigenous services and Indigenous-Crown relations,” Singh told reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons this morning.

“It’s so important for us that, as leader, I’m going to take on that responsibility.”

Singh has been a vocal opponent of the government’s decision to appeal a court ruling on child welfare compensation for Indigenous children, signalling that it will be one of the NDP’s key targets in the upcoming session.

As critic for intergovernmental affairs, Singh will go head-to-head with deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland during question period, which briefly resumes next week. As minister of intergovernmental affairs, Freeland is tasked with easing provincial tensions and holding the federation together in a period of deep economic anxiety in much of Western Canada.

Singh’s inner circle remains largely unchanged since the last session. The party’s lone Quebec MP, Alexandre Boulerice, will stay on as deputy leader. He’ll also be the critic for Canadian economic development for Quebec regions, and for Canadian heritage

Re-elected New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian will keep his job as House leader and will take on the role of finance critic.

Windsor West MP Brian Masse remains caucus chair and will take on the critic role for digital government, the Great Lakes, telecommunications and innovation, science and industry.

North Island-Powell River’s Rachel Blaney will continue on as whip and become the NDP critic for veterans affairs.

Singh criticized the Liberals for naming Mona Fortier as minister of “middle class prosperity” without defining her mandate.Longtime Ontario New Democrat MP Charlie Angus will take on the role of critic for income inequality and affordability, and for the federal economic development initiative for northern Ontario and Indigenous youth.

Singh also made a point of naming a critic for democratic reform, which isn’t a defined minister’s role in the Liberal cabinet anymore. The NDP has long pushed to replace Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system.

“People have been pointing out that this electoral system is fraught with injustice and it does not allow people’s voices to be heard,” he said.

The other NDP critic roles are:

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