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

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read