The Liberals and the New Democrats have negotiated an agreement under which the NDP would continue to support Justin Trudeau’s minority administration until 2025.
Trudeau announced Tuesday that the accord is a “confidence and supply” pact that will take effect immediately.
This type of arrangement, similar to the one reached by the BC NDP and the Greens in that province in 2017, typically entails an opposition party pledging to support the government on confidence motions and budget or appropriation votes for a set length of time.
During a news conference announcing the deal, the prime minister cited the global and economic instability caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as the results of last September’s federal election as catalysts of the new arrangement.
The Liberals failed to win a clear majority in the election and currently hold 159 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons, while the NDP has 25 MPs.
“The message from Canadians was as clear as the mandate they gave Parliament: work together to put people and families first, deliver results and build a better future,” he said.
“What this means is that during this uncertain time, the government can function with predictability and stability, present and implement budgets and get things done for Canadians.”
Trudeau said the deal would focus on issues on which the parties agree, rather than disagree, including action on dental care, pharmacare, climate change, housing and paid sick leave.
He added that on areas where the Liberals and NDP do not agree, such as a potential increase in defence spending in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, such situations will be managed on a case-by-case basis. He added the NDP does not have a veto.
“In the areas where there is not agreement, we will continue to do the things that the Liberal Party was elected to do,” he said. “And we’ll look for support from other parties as necessary as we move forward.”
Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen, whose party is in the midst of a leadership race, is expected to respond to the deal this morning.
If it works out, the deal will show progress on NDP policies, which the party can use as a track record on which to run in the next election, said Karl Belanger, president of Traxxion Strategies and former interim national director of the NDP.
The NDP would be free to operate as an opposition party with its own identity because the agreement isn’t a formal alliance, he said.
“Who will be able to take credit for these programs will be the major battleground between the Liberals and the NDP.” “In the past, it hasn’t always worked out for the NDP,” Belanger remarked.
According to him, the agreement will afford the NDP time to build up its war chest for the next election while also demonstrating that the party is relevant in the meanwhile.
Source_ The Canadian Press