A few weeks ago, Federal NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh asked for a bike tour around Vancouver. I drew up the rear on the 4-person ride, and we spent about an hour travelling on mostly protected infrastructure. [You can ride to a lot of places in Vancouver that way. Not everywhere, but a lot].
He was, I thought, sincere in wanting to see what this bike stuff was all about, and impressed with what he saw, and the way it changes one’s perspective around travelling in a city. He’s from Brampton, where my guess is that it’s close to open season on anyone riding a bike. It seems to be a generational thing, and Mr. Singh looks like he embodies a multi-modal approach to travel and transportation.
And now, this is becoming a theme in Mr. Singh’s campaign. Take a look at this recent volley of tweets. [Click to enlarge].
It’s a long shot that the federal NDP would win government and Singh would become the Prime Minister. But it’s not a long shot that he may hold the balance of power one day. So this matters.
I figured that since a candidate for the leadership of a national political party asked for an opportunity to better understand cycling progress in Vancouver, while riding around town, that it was worth going for a ride and bringing up the need for a national cycling strategy while doing it. I have no idea what the future will bring for him, but moving the conversation forward is always good.
And it was a nice ride.
This is a start for the Federal NDP. Good job!
He organized larger rides in Vancouver and other Canadian cities during his leadership campaign. I joined in the Vancouver ride.
Another federal politician that is keen on cycling is the Hon Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. I helped Canada Bikes organize a ride for her in Vancouver last year which she accepted. She and some of her staff thoroughly enjoyed a short ride in Stanley Park in spite of the rain.
Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni, is also keenly interested in promoting cycling. He has introduced a petition which calls on the federal government to establish a National Cycling Strategy.
It has already collected over 3200 signatures.
All very good signs that cycling is being taken seriously at the federal level.