A longtime Green party supporter has offered a challenge to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.
Imtiaz Popat says he's prepared to support NDP candidate Anjali Appadurai in Vancouver Granville as long as Singh promises to implement proportional representation if the NDP forms government or is part of a coalition government.
Popat has been approved to run as a Green candidate in Vancouver Granville.
He made the pledge in the wake of an August 21 commentary on Straight.com calling on Singh and Green Leader Annamie Paul to make a deal on the West Side of Vancouver.
The column urged Popat to step aside in Vancouver Granville and NDP candidate Naden Abenes to step aside in Vancouver Quadra to help two climate activists, Appadurai and Green candidate Devyani Singh, get elected in each of those ridings.
"One of the reasons I joined the Green party is because we have been pioneers in advocating for proportional representation to avoid vote splitting," Popat said. "While the NDP has campaigned on proportional representation, it's not a priority for them in this election.
"Jagmeet Singh had the opportunity to make proportional representation a reality in the last minority government," Popat continued. "But he failed in following through his past commitment on proportional representation."
This year, the NDP has said that if it forms government, it will bring in mixed-member proportional representation in its first mandate. But the NDP has not explicitly stated that it will make proportional representation a price for supporting another party in a minority government.
"If Singh commits to implementing proportional representation if he is able form government or be a part of coalition government, I would gladly throw my support behind Anjali Appadurai in this election," Popat said. "Although climate change has become a key issue in the election, it's not the only critical issue in this election."
Popat, a cofounder of the Coalition Against Bigotry–Pacific, noted that he's running because of the connections between the rise of hate and bigotry and the climate crisis.
"It's important to raise a variety of critical issues in this election so the voters can make an informed decision," Popat said.