OTTAWA—Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir will seek the federal NDP nomination in his Regina riding, even though party leader Jagmeet Singh has slammed the door on his efforts to return to the New Democrats in the wake of an harassment investigation.
In an interview with the Star, Weir challenged Singh not to approve his nomination if party members in Regina-Lewvan choose him as their candidate in the 2019 election.
Singh informed Weir last week that he was not welcome back to the NDP caucus and that he would not be allowed to run for the party, stating in a letter that he isn’t confident the Regina MP wouldn’t repeat his “harassing behaviour.”
“What Mr. Singh is saying in effect is he does not trust more than 2,000 NDP members in Regina-Lewvan to make the right decision,” Weir said Thursday. “It’s the local membership who should be able to decide.”
NDP press secretary James Smith brushed off Weir’s intention to seek the nomination. He said Singh was “crystal clear” that Weir is not going to run for the party next year. The NDP also has a vetting process for nomination candidates that includes questionnaires about past behaviour.
Weir is continuing to push to return to the party as his former colleagues meet in Surrey, B.C. strategize for the fall session of Parliament and the build-up to next year’s federal election. Weir said he believes he is best placed to win Regina-Lewvan again for the NDP, and that his main concern is to hold gains the party made in the province, where it won three seats in the 2015 election.
A group of 67 former NDP MLAs and MPs from Saskatchewan has also voiced concerns over Singh’s handling of Weir’s situation and called for his reinstatement as an NDP MP — though Singh told reporters Wednesday that he will not be intimidated into compromising workplace safety by “people of a position of privilege.”