CANADA NEWS POLITICS

‘A firm no for me’: Jagmeet Singh slams door on idea of Liberal-NDP coalition

Jagmeet Singh slams door on idea of Liberal-NDP coalition

Jagmeet Singh slams door on idea of Liberal-NDP coalition

OTTAWA – NDP leader Jagmeet Singh poured ice cold water on rumours of a possible deal between his party and the Liberals saying any formal coalition is a non-starter.

“There is no discussion at all of a coalition and that is a firm no for me. There’s not going to be any coalition at all,” Singh said speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

Rumours have swirled in recent days about a potential deal between the governing Liberals and the NDP to help the Liberals pass their agenda through the minority Parliament.
Liberal caucus met on Monday for the first time since September’s election and Liberal House Leader Mark Holland said he was discussing the agenda with his counterparts in other parties, but was not talking about a specific deal.
“We have an enormous amount to get through and we have a lot of conversations with the other parties of where that common ground is,” he said. “We’re committed to making this Parliament work and having constructive conversations and we’re doing that with all parties.”

A formal coalition is not the only avenue for the Liberals and the NDP to cooperate, in addition to working together on individual pieces of legislation, they could form a confidence and supply agreement.

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British Columbia Premier John Horgan struck such a deal with the B.C. Greens in 2017, which allowed him to come to power after an extremely tight election that left Liberal leader Christy Clark one seat short of a majority government.
Singh said he wouldn’t rule out cooperating with the Liberals in such a deal, but stressed nothing was on the table.
“I’m open to hearing from the government, but there is no agreement. There has been no specific offer made.”

In the campaign, the Liberals and the NDP had similar platform commitments on child care, climate change and other issues. They also agree on some legislation the Liberals are expected to introduce into Parliament, including a ban on conversion therapy.
Singh said he wants to see real action to help struggling Canadians and he is prepared to work with the Liberals on that.
“People need help, they need to see action on the climate crisis. They want to make sure their lives are affordable so they can afford a home, they can afford to pay the bills, and I raised those concerns to the prime minister and I’ll continue to do that.”
During the campaign, Singh said repeatedly that Canadians could not trust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fulfill his commitments and he said that will make reaching any deal with the Liberals difficult.

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The lack of any agreement or offer on the table, has not stopped Conservative leader Erin O’Toole from attacking a potential Liberal-NDP coalition, which he did again on Tuesday.
“The Liberal-NDP coalition would be a disaster for the Canadian economy. It will raise taxes on Canadian families and the middle class,” he said.
Singh said O’Toole is simply trying to distract from the debate about a vaccine mandate for the House of Commons. He said O’Toole is focused on getting exemptions for his MPs, not on Canadians.
“If the only thing that you’re known for is fighting to get special treatment for your MPs, you’re missing the plot.”
Kathleen Monk, a public affairs strategist and former NDP staffer, isn’t directly involved in any present day talks, but she doesn’t see the right conditions for a major deal between the parties.

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“Being motivated to avoid an election doesn’t make for a great foundation to a cooperation agreement. Liberals can’t even say out loud that they want a policy accord with New Democrats.”
Monk, along with another NDP insider who spoke to the Post on background, said any serious deal would need to put something major on the table to get blanket support from the NDP.
“If in 2021 Liberals were actually going to come to the table with permanent, long term funding for childcare, a real and immediate plan for implementing pharmacare, a serious housing strategy that addresses both affordability and supply, plus a willingness to fairly tax those who have benefited the most during the pandemic — I think you would find New Democrats ready to support that.”

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