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The New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) and the Liberal Party of Canada have formed a “supply and confidence” agreement that sees the NDP support the current Liberal minority government, in exchange for tackling several policy areas of importance to them, from now until 2025.
The tentative agreement involves, among other things: leaders meeting every quarter, whip meetings, regular house leader meetings, and stock-taking meetings every month. However, this is not a merging of the two parties, they will remain separate entities and can pull out of the agreement if they feel their interests aren’t being met.
The seven key areas of policy concentration outlined in their agreement are as follows:
Climate change — Includes new strategies to reach a net-zero economy.
Health care — Involves an act aimed at previous COVID-19 policy and funding failures as well as expanding dental insurance to cohorts that don’t currently qualify, namely low-income households and those with disabilities.
Labour — Involves the assurance of 10 paid sick days for federally recognized workers.
Housing and Affordability — With a focus on non-profit child-care programs and increased rights and actions for homebuyers to help enter and remain in the housing market.
Reconciliation — Includes myriad initiatives to support Indigenous communities and peoples, including action aimed at addressing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Elections — Expands accessibility and addressing issues related to voting.
Taxation — Emphasizes tax changes to financial entities that have seen substantial profit increases during the pandemic.
Opposition to this agreement from the Conservative Party of Canada has already taken shape since news broke of the agreement. Conservative MP and leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre called the NDP the Liberal government’s “coalition partner” and that they should be defeated by a vote of no-confidence. Similarly, Conservative leadership candidate and Mayor of Brampton Patrick Brown stated that it was a, “subversion of our democracy.”
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh ensured that his party will remain independent and critical of legislation in case it’s deemed asymmetrical to the policy goals outlined in the agreement. In a celebratory mood, Singh posted to Twitter saying that the NDP will “deliver the biggest expansion of Canadian health care in a generation.”
A part of the deal involves the NDP promising not to bring forward a vote of no-confidence as well as not supporting opposition votes of no-confidence. Furthermore, the two parties agree to deliberate in private if issues arise in regards to passing legislation.
The decision has split Canadians as to the possible ramifications of the agreement and whether this is a strategically efficient move for both parties. Many see it as a power grab by the governing Liberals, in order to ensure House control until the agreement’s expiration in 2025. Meanwhile, Liberal and NDP caucus members project optimism, as they see the agreement as necessary to support their ability to meet the needs and demands of Canadians struggling from the pandemic.
The official statement regarding the agreement was posted to the Prime Minister’s website. It can be found here.