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“Frustrated”, Jagmeet Singh threatens to cut ties with the PLC

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Jagmeet Singh gave Justin Trudeau an ultimatum, conditioning the NDP-PLC agreement on the coming into force, on March 1, of a bill on a universal drug insurance plan.

Zacharie Goudreault

7:52 p.m.

  • Canada

“Frustrated”, the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Jagmeet Singh, intends to continue to pressure Prime Minister Justin Trudeau so that a bill on a universal insurance plan- drugs be adopted by March 1. Otherwise, the agreement of trust and support uniting the NDP and the Liberal Party of Canada will be threatened, he warned.

“We are frustrated with the fact that the Liberals are always dragging their feet, saying one thing and doing the opposite and trying to break their promises,” Mr. Singh bluntly said Friday during a press scrum. held at the beginning of the afternoon in front of Montreal city hall, where the federal elected official had gone to discuss with Mayor Valérie Plante the measures that the federal government should take to better tackle the crisis housing.

“It’s clear that after nine years of the Liberals, their record is a failure. They have not prioritized the construction of affordable housing and we are in a crisis, said Mr. Singh. We want to see how we can force the Liberal government to invest more in affordable housing. »

However, it was not the housing crisis that aroused media interest during this press scrum, but rather the tensions that are increasingly brewing within the NDP, where several members are opposed to the trust agreement uniting the party with the formation of Justin Trudeau since March 2022. This agreement initially aimed to assure the Liberals that they could remain in power until 2025 in exchange for which they committed to accomplishing a series of demands, including the creation of a dental care program for the most disadvantaged and the launch of a drug insurance program that the NDP wants to be public and universal.

However, Justin Trudeau's party is slow to make this commitment a reality, deplores Jagmeet Singh, who initially gave the Liberals until the end of 2023 to pass a bill concerning a universal drug insurance plan. This ultimatum has since been postponed until March 1, a deadline that the NDP leader does not want to have to postpone again. Thus, he asserts that if the requested program, which according to him would alleviate the financial burden of many low-income Canadians, does not see the light of day, the Liberals will suffer “consequences”.

“If the Liberals break the agreement, that means we will change the way the agreement works,” he declared Friday. The NDP could, for example, stop “helping” the Liberals get bills approved in the House of Commons and refuse to support some of the motions put forward by Justin Trudeau's party, argued Mr. Singh, without commenting on the possibility of federal elections this year.

“If the government does not achieve its goal of passing a universal pharmacare bill by early March, it will have broken its promises and there will be consequences. I was very firm on that,” insisted the member for Burnaby South.

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Questioned earlier in the day on the subject, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a slightly more optimistic approach.

“We are working very hard to deliver a bill to regulate drug insurance and we are making positive progress,” declared Mr. Trudeau, passing through King City, near Toronto .

“We will continue constructively with all parliamentarians who want it. »

English-speaking universities

In a completely different vein, the leader of the NDP also affirmed, on the sidelines of his meeting with Mayor Valérie Plante, that he shares the latter's concerns regarding the consequences that the Increase in tuition fees for Canadian students from other provinces, imposed by the Legault government, risks having an impact on the English-speaking universities of Montreal, McGill and Concordia.

“I share Mayor Plante's concern to close the doors, to say no to students [foreigners and those coming from elsewhere in Canaca], I think it will hurt the city, to the economy, but also to the opportunity to share the incredible culture of Quebec and Montreal,” responded Jagmeet Singh on Friday.

On Wednesday, Mayor Valérie Plante deplored to journalists that the increase in tuition fees imposed by Quebec for students from other provinces who come to study in English at McGill and Concordia represents a measure that “directly attacks” to Montreal. Comments which strongly reacted the Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, as well as the Minister of the French Language, Jean-François Roberge.

With The Canadian Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116