Jagmeet Singh gathered a crowd at a Penticton rally

Singh gathers crowd at rally

Chelsea Powrie

The ballroom at the Penticton Lakeside Resort was full to the brim Saturday night in anticipation of a visit from federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. 

It was so full that many supporters had to wait outside. 

Singh's last-minute rally just two days before election day is no coincidence. The South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding is currently held by incumbent MP RIchard Cannings, but polls show he is in a dead heat with Conservative challenger Helena Konanz. 

The rally Saturday saw hundreds packed into the ballroom waving orange signs and cheering Singh like a rockstar when he entered the room. 

"Let's get out there and win this election, let's get out there and vote!" Singh said, to applause. 

He spent time outlining the major policies his party has been touting throughout the election — taxing the wealthy, accessible and affordable healthcare, Indigenous reconciliation action and housing costs, among other promises — as well as tearing down both Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. 

Singh had previously indicated he would be open to working with the Liberals in a coalition government, but he reiterated his unwillingness to work with the Conservatives. 

"Let me be clear. I don't believe we can negotiate with the services our families need, I don't believe we can negotiate with the right to choose, I don't think we can negotiate with LGBTQ rights," Singh said, to cheers. "For those reasons I've made it clear I would never work with a Conservative government."

Candidate Richard Cannings was in attendance, calling the energy in the room "so inspiring." He was joined by many NDP candidates from around the region, including Central Okangan-Similkameen-Nicola candidate Joan Phillip and North Okanagan-Shuswap candidate Harwinder Sandhu.

The federal election takes place Monday.  

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