Jagmeet Singh on Bill 62, what's next for him and cage fighting with Trudeau

Hot on the heels of his resignation from the Ontario legislature, the newly-minted federal New Democratic Party leader isn't dropping any hints about whether he will run for a federal seat in a byelection before the 2019 election.

Jagmeet Singh officially quit as MPP for the Bramalea-Gore-Malton riding Friday just weeks after taking the helm of the NDP. He doesn't yet hold a House of Commons seat and has said he may not seek one until the next federal election.

So what's next for Singh?

"I'm looking forward to continuing the journey across Canada, meeting people, sharing our values and ideas as New Democrats," he told CBC News on Saturday.

Singh was in Toronto for the eighth annual Sikh Awards, held in Canada for the first time, and said he was honoured to be among the recipients.

"It's particularly humbling because the organization celebrates some of the Sikh values like equality, fighting for justice, standing against injustice," he said. 

Singh was asked about a number of stories in the news this week. Here's what he had to say:

On Bill 62

"It is not appropriate for the government to tell anyone, let alone a woman, what to wear and what not to wear," the federal NDP leader said, before adding that the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a "very strong" and "very robust."

"As a lawyer, I'm very confident that it will protect the rights and freedoms of the individuals in this case," he said. "I think it's important that we don't pick and choose when it comes to human rights. We stand up for the rights of all people, all communities, all the time.

"My experience in Quebec is that it's a culture that's very open, very open-spirited, welcoming, it's one of the most progressive nations in our federal makeup... but with this, I disagree."

On Canada's no-fly list

As the fight for Canada to fund a federal redress system for people falsely flagged as security risks heads to Parliament Hill, Singh had high praise for the now eight-year-old Markham, Ont.,  boy whose story first thrust the issue into the spotlight after his parents found out his name matched that of someone on the list.

"I think it's phenomenal. This is an amazing example, the fact that the young boy is taking a stand against it," Singh said of Adam Ahmed.

"It's completely deplorable that the list exists, I've come out against it," he added, pointing to a video released as part of his campaign that profiled a two-year-old also falsely flagged on the list.

"Clearly there's a serious problem. There needs to be a recourse so that people can be removed and there needs to be some clear criteria before we put anyone on any sort of list."

On Rohingya refugees 

"It needs to be labelled as a crisis, this is a humanitarian crisis," Singh said.

"People are being displaced, people are being killed just because of who they are. In a lot of ways it meets the definition of what we would look at as a genocide. It's happening in front of our eyes. We need to decry this at an international level and Canada needs to take a role in terms of denouncing what's happening and providing some supports."

On what would happen in a cage fight with Trudeau

Singh told CBC News in a recent interview that he was bullied as a youngster and took up martial arts to defend himself, going on to captain his high school wrestling team and winning the Toronto championships in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Justin Trudeau is of course known for boxing, his now famed fight against former Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau going viral after the two faced off in 2012. 

Asked what would happen if he were put in a cage match with the current prime minister, Singh responded:

"I'd win hands down. I've been a lifelong student of martial arts, I've been training and competing, I've competed in full contact competitions since a young age… it would be an easy fight for me."

And would he actually go head-to-head with Trudeau if he had the chance?

"Oh yeah," said Singh. "But I don't think he'd take it up."