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

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found a body in the 11300-block of Bridgeview Drive: Surrey RCMP

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read