Peter Power The Canadian Press The withdrawal of the leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh, of the agreement would not be systematic since, as the text of the resolution underlines “this motion is not binding on the NDP caucus”.
New Democratic delegates meeting Saturday at a convention in Hamilton, Ontario, unanimously adopted a resolution declaring that the New Democratic Party (NDP) should withdraw from its support and confidence agreement with the Liberals if legislation that the latter proposed for drug insurance does not lay the foundations for a real universal and public program.
The adopted text states that the bill that the Liberals promised to table by the end of year must “make a clear commitment to a universal, comprehensive and fully public drug insurance program.”
The withdrawal of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh from the agreement would not be systematic since, as the text of the resolution emphasizes, “this motion is not binding on the NDP caucus.”
In any case, NDP health critic and MP Don Davies has spoken out in favor of the NDP withdrawing from the deal if the bill is deemed unsatisfactory.
He confirmed this position in an interview with The Canadian Press. He nevertheless clarified that the decision to withdraw would be up to Mr. Singh. However, according to Mr. Davies, the entire NDP caucus is in the same place as him.
The NDP health critic declared that the resolution aims to further concretize the “line red” which must not be crossed by the Liberals if they want to be able to continue to count on the New Democrats as dancing partners.
“I think this is the most explicit reference so far on the consequence, which is to take [the deal] off the table,” he said.
According to him, support for this hard line within the NDP caucus is “unanimous.”
He stressed that there is little time left for the Liberals to meet the deadline of the end 2023.
“We have two months left in the legislative session. I think we're coming to a critical moment and the Liberals are going to have to decide what they're going to do,” he added.
“And I think they need to know that we're we-couldn’t-be-more-serious. It’s enough for the liberals to play games. “Whether they do the right thing or tell Canadians that they don't care,” he said.
In the same breath, he assured that he would continue to working with Health Minister Mark Holland.
The NDP's support and confidence agreement with the Liberals is designed to ensure that they, in a minority government situation, can remain in power until 2025.
In exchange, the Liberals promise to accomplish a series of things, such as launching a drug insurance program.