NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is ruling out the possibility of forming a coalition government with the Liberals if no party wins a clear majority after the next federal election.
“That’s off the table,” Singh said in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, even though the two parties have been working closely together.
“That’s not something that we’re focused on. We’re focused on getting enough done in this Parliament and then running to win.”
The two parties signed a deal in March 2022 in which the NDP agreed to support the minority Liberals on key votes in Parliament in exchange for action on NDP policy priorities.
The collaboration has so far led to the introduction of a national dental-care program, one-time rental supplements for low-income tenants, a temporary doubling of the GST rebate, legislation banning replacement workers and investments toward a for-Indigenous-by-Indigenous housing strategy.
The parties agreed to keep their agreement in place until 2025, with a federal election slated to take place by October of that year.
- New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh, wife Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu welcome second baby girl
- Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh blasts Trudeau, Poilievre at B.C. convention
Singh said the agreement gave him the chance to see the Liberals up close, and to see how much power the federal government has to make life better for Canadians.
“And I can say with a lot of clarity that they could be doing a lot more to help people,” Singh said.
“I’m more motivated than ever before that I want to become the next prime minister. That’s my goal.”
Polls currently place the Opposition Conservatives within majority territory, and with a minority Parliament in place, the next election could theoretically happen any time.
However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated he sees no reason for that.
He told The Canadian Press earlier this month that the next campaign will follow the fixed-election date schedule and take place in the fall of 2025.
Trudeau said he hasn’t spoken to the New Democrats about possibly forming a coalition government post-election, because they’re focused on the now.
“What may be, might come into a calculation post-election, well listen, let’s let Canadians decide what kind of Parliament they want to elect in two years and then we’ll see,” Trudeau said when asked about whether a bigger partnership is in the cards.
“We’ve demonstrated that we can get good things done and maintain a very fiscally responsible frame,” he added.
He added that’s something “people will take note of, I’m sure, for decades to come as being something that has been demonstrated to be very effective in Canadian politics.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2023.