It’s early Friday evening, and Jagmeet Singh is standing under a blanket of BC rain, surrounded by a small team of activists and advisors, pitching for votes.

24 hours ago, CBC broke a nightmare story for the federal NDP leader: either he wins the upcoming by-election in Burnaby South—a diverse, suburban riding on the outskirts of East Vancouver—or his short tenure at the helm of Canada’s third largest party will be over.

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This is what it took for me to secure temporary residence and the right to work in Canada: I applied for a visa; a few weeks later my visa was approved; a few months after that, I arrived in Vancouver, the city I am now, tentatively, beginning to call home.

And that’s about it – the sum total of a process otherwise known for its impersonal bureaucratic drudgery. There was no intrusive background check, no last minute border interrogation, no attempt, at any stage, by the Canadian authorities to discourage me from moving to a country that I had never previously set foot in.

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