NDP leader Jagmeet Singh meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh meets Trudeau to discuss throne speech

Top ask was the immediate creation of a national universal Pharmacare program

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s only options to pass legislation in a minority parliament are to work with his New Democrats or the Conservatives, dismissing the idea the Liberals could work with the Bloc Quebecois because the Bloc isn’t concerned with national interests.

Singh met with Trudeau in Ottawa on Thursday to try to leverage his party’s position in a minority government. The Liberal leader is meeting opposition leaders one by one to assess what he’ll have to do to gain and maintain the confidence of the House of Commons.

It appears part of Singh’s strategy is to suggest that the votes of Bloc Quebecois MPs aren’t enough, even though they and the Liberals together hold more than half the seats in the Commons.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, the New Democratic leader said he believes his party is in a good position to get Liberal buy-in for NDP priorities in part because of the two parties’ shared progressive perspective on many key issues.

But he also suggested Trudeau does not have many other options.

”If they want to pass something national that really benefits all Canadians, they’ve got really two options for a national party. They can choose to work with the Conservatives or they can work with us,” he said.

When asked why he doesn’t believe Trudeau could seek support from the Bloc Quebecois, Singh said the Bloc is not a national party.

During their meeting, Singh listed the top three priorities he hopes will make it into the throne speech in December, the primary one being the immediate creation of a universal, single-payer Pharmacare program.

He also pressed Trudeau to drop the government’s legal challenge of a recent Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that ordered Ottawa to pay $40,000 each in compensation to Indigenous children who were wrongly placed in foster care after 2007, as well as to their parents or grandparents.

He said dental care, affordability and housing were discussed, and that Trudeau acknowledged that Singh would continue to oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline project. Singh would not say whether Liberal backing for the Alberta-B.C. pipeline could lead him to vote against the Liberals in a confidence vote.

During a photo-op before their official meeting, the two leaders shared a warm handshake and appeared friendly and at ease with one another.

Trudeau said it was a pleasure to welcome the NDP leader to his office, adding that it would offer “an opportunity to talk about the many things we have in common in our perspectives.”

Singh has said he’s not issuing ultimatums, but his party would be willing to vote against the throne speech if it doesn’t acknowledge the NDP’s requests somehow.

READ MORE: Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

Surrey Little Theatre is located on 184th Street at Fraser Highway. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey Little Theatre, Langley Players look to merge as single company at 200th Street theatre

A ‘really exciting’ development for the volunteer-run theatre companies

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Blaine inn owner’s challenge of immigration act fails

Robert Boule’s trial on human-smuggling charges set to begin August 2021

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read