Agreement between the PLC and the NDP | Jagmeet Singh wants to see the first results in the fall

(Ottawa) The “Pact of Support and Confidence” between the Trudeau administration and the New Democratic Party (NDP) will last as planned until 2025, believes Pablo Rodriguez, one of the custodians of the agreement. But be careful: if the Liberals don’t deliver the dentist plan and $500 housing allowance, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh vowed he’ll tear up the deal.

Posted at 5:00 am

Mylene Crete

Mylene Crete
The press

Melanie Marchese

Melanie Marchese
The press

The Liberal government, elected for a second time with a minority of the seats on September 20, 2021, bought time thanks to this agreement, which was unveiled some six months later. And since then, “there’s a real desire for it to work,” says Pablo Rodriguez, a member of the oversight committee for the Dominic LeBlanc and Ruby Sahota agreement.

“I’ve been in politics for a while now and I would say that I see and feel this will on both sides. Our sessions are productive and we can also see in the plenary session of the House that it is working: the bills are progressing”, explains the minister, who sees this as a way of counteracting “the systematic blockade of the Conservatives who filibuster cotton ” .

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also sees things as smooth. His party’s spokesmen meet with the ministers, whom they are used to criticizing, to keep up to date with the government’s plans.

A clear requirement

Other meetings are held regularly between the Speakers of Parliament and the leaders of the two political parties. And as per the agreement, Jagmeet Singh met Justin Trudeau. These meetings must be held at least quarterly.

“I told him, ‘everything is fine,’ but I stressed the importance of seeing people help,” he says.

The NDP leader is keen on the $500 supplement to Canada’s housing benefit. According to the agreement, this sum must be paid in 2022. He also wants to see the start of the new dental care program by the end of the year. It is children under the age of 12 who must benefit first.

Both measures were in the budget in April, but details are not yet known.

“If people don’t get the help that we got in the agreement before the end of the year, we can’t go ahead with this agreement,” he said. But we remain optimistic that it will happen. »


Pablo Rodriguez, member of the monitoring committee of the agreement between the PLC and the NDP

Mr. Rodriguez is categorical on this: it will be done. And not just because Liberals “have an obligation to deliver that cornerstone of the deal,” but also because “a lot of kids in Canada don’t go to the dentist because their parents don’t have the resources to take them there,” he said .

At the end of March, his health colleague Jean-Yves Duclos admitted that it would not be easy. “Provinces and territories, insurance companies, both with companies and private, directly with people, already have dental insurance mechanisms,” he explained.

There is much to do. […] We have to start with the representation of the existing, in order to then determine the continuation.

Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health

Jagmeet Singh argues that the government already has a functioning First Nations and Inuit dental program.

He is categorical: there is no way to go to the dentist with your wallet. “With payment and reimbursement, it creates barriers for the less fortunate and it’s an unacceptable barrier,” he said. We’re going to create a program where we’re going to pay the bills directly. »

An alliance criticized

According to Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet, the agreement between the Liberals and the New Democrats is an “admission to the failure of democracy”.

The only way this kind of weird marriage got things done is through an unprecedented series of gags.

Yves-François Blanchet, leader of the Bloc Québécois

He doesn’t think it will last until 2025 at all, especially if Pierre Poilievre becomes leader of the Conservative Party. “It could be that Mr. Trudeau sees a window to return to the elections and seek a real majority, he predicted. Imagine the feast of arrogance on this day. »


Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet during Wednesday’s Question Time in Ottawa

The Bloc Québécois is one of the big losers in this alliance because it had more influence in the previous government.

“It is certain that the fact that we agree with the NDP significantly limits the bloc’s room for maneuver. It is save. It didn’t suit them at all,” admits Pablo Rodriguez, whom Liberals often send to the front lines to answer questions from the bloc. He often does this by accusing them of wanting the “harassment”.

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