Kevin Yarde, the first Black MPP in Peel Region, has lost his party’s nomination to run again in Brampton North in provincial elections in June.
A former Weather Network Forecaster, Yarde is one of five MPPs in the Ontario NDP Black Caucus. He is his party’s auto insurance critic.
Yarde lost the nomination vote to human rights advocate Sandeep Singh last Thursday.
Singh will be running against Liberal candidate Harinder Malhi, PC candidate Graham McGregor and Aneed Dhada of the Green Party.
In an interview with The Caribbean Camera, Yarde said he had been awaiting word of his nomination and was getting ready to run again in the Brampton North riding which he won in 2018.
But on March 17 last he received a call from the party, informing him that he had a rival.
He said he was told that his nomination was contested by Sandeep Singh who was “vetted” by the party.
“Singh passed the vetting process and was allowed to contest the nomination.”
Yarde said it was unusual for a sitting MPP to be challenged for a seat “just like that.”
“It’s unusual but it is allowed,” he noted.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwarth said she has heard the disappointment and frustration from some people about the Brampton North nomination.
“The NDP takes their concerns very seriously.”
She noted that “the NDP’s open nominations policy was established many years ago. The party will be examining it after the election with exactly these concerns in mind.”
“Kevin Yarde has been a great MPP,” Horwarth declared.
She said that as a founding member of the NDP Black Caucus, Yarde has ensured that “the Black lived experience is incorporated into everything we do — every policy, bill and discussion. He will always be a member of the NDP family.”
“I want to thank Kevin for his commitment and dedication, and I’ve let him know that whatever he pursues, we will be there to support him.”
Horwarth said that “so far, eight fantastic Black candidates are running for the Ontario NDP this year.
“And we will support them all the way to election day and beyond, as they become members of the legislature, and members of the NDP Black Caucus.”
They are as follows: Faisal Hassan – York South-Weston; Dr. Laura Mae Lindo – Kitchener Centre; Marjorie Knight – Cambridge; Dr. Jill Andrew – Toronto-St. Paul’s; Andria Barrett – Brampton South; Gemma Grey-Hall – Windsor- Tecumseh; Rhyan Vincent-Smith – Oakville North-Burlington; Felicia Samuel – Scarborough-Rouge Park.
Yarde told The Caribbean Camera that he is” considering his options” which includes running in the municipal elections in Brampton this year.