The leader of Canada’s left-leaning New Democratic Party said he’s confident he can work together with Justin Trudeau, suggesting the prime minister will be able to successfully govern in a minority Parliament.
Jagmeet Singh reiterated he wants to see new health care initiatives from the Liberals, as well as concrete measures to fight climate change and tackle indigenous issues.
The NDP leader, whose party holds 24 of 338 seats in the House of Commons, made the comments Thursday after meeting with Trudeau, while adding he won’t be beholden to the Liberals. Specifically, Singh cited the need for progress on pharmacare and dental care, along with timelines for eliminating fossil fuel subsides and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“At this meeting with the prime minister, I saw an openness there and it gave me confidence that we can work together,” Singh told reporters in Ottawa.
Trudeau, who last his parliamentary majority in Canada’s election last month, has said he will forgo any formal governing agreement with another party and instead move ahead with legislation on a case-by-case basis. The go-it-alone tactic should work easily for Trudeau, at least temporarily, given he’s only 13 seats shy of a majority and potentially has three possible partners: the New Democrats, the separatist Bloc Quebecois and the main opposition Conservatives. The pro-labor NDP is seen as the most natural partner for the Liberals.
Earlier this week, Trudeau met with Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer and Yves-Francois Blanchet of the Bloc, which holds 32 seats.
While the separatist leader said he and the prime minister have significant differences of opinion on some issues, he described his meeting with Trudeau Wednesday as “very cordial” and said a “spirit of collaboration” was evident throughout.
Scheer was less optimistic, saying the Liberals must work hard to address a growing sense of western alienation after Trudeau’s team was completely shutout in the oil-producing western provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. “It’s up to Mr. Trudeau to find common ground,” the Conservative leader said Tuesday.