Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh shake hands following the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Que. on Thursday, October 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh shake hands following the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Que. on Thursday, October 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Sunday he will do “whatever it takes” to keep the Conservatives from assuming power, including forming a coalition government with Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions amid increasing rhetoric from Trudeau that voting Liberal is the only way centre-left voters can avoid making Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer prime minister.

With just eight days to go before the final votes are cast, the race is seemingly tighter than ever. Support for the NDP and Bloc Quebecois is continuing to tick upwards, keeping both the Liberals and Conservatives from pulling ahead into first place.

ALSO READ: NDP reminds Trudeau of electoral-reform promise before last debate

Singh is attempting to neutralize the Liberal fear factor by promising that even if Scheer’s Conservatives end up winning the most seats but not a majority, the NDP would “absolutely” work with the Liberals, Bloc and Green party on a coalition government.

“We’re not going to support a Conservative government,” Singh said. “We’re going to fight a Conservative government, we’re going to fight it all the way. We’re ready to do whatever it takes.”

Trudeau — who is hoping to nab another electoral victory by pulling most centre-left voters into his camp like he did in 2015 — campaigned in Toronto and the surrounding 905-region Sunday. He said history has made clear that voting for the NDP can’t stop Conservatives.

“We’ve seen what happens in places like Ontario,” he said. “The NDP wasn’t able to stop Doug Ford. The NDP wasn’t able to stop Stephen Harper. If you want to stop Conservative cuts you have to elect a progressive government, not a progressive opposition.”

Trudeau reiterated Sunday that a Conservative government under Scheer will slash billions from essential Canadian programs, halt Canadian progress against climate change and serve up a win for the “flat out lies” and campaign of misinformation coming from the Conservative camp.

For Canadians who don’t want that, Trudeau said the choice is “very, very clear.”

“Do we give in to the polarization and the fear and the division and the misinformation being spread online, or do we continue to move forward, pushing back against Conservative cuts and choose a progressive government that is going to continue investing in people and continue fighting climate change,” he said.

“I think it’s very clear that Canadians are worried about what a Conservative government would do.”

Conservative spokesman Simon Jefferies said the Conservatives are not being negative.

“The Conservative campaign has been positively sharing our plan to put more money in the pockets of Canadians so they can get ahead,” he said in a written statement. “We have also been reminding voters about Justin Trudeau’s record and explaining how he will continue to make life more expensive if re-elected.

Earlier this week, Singh laid out the six conditions he would have to support a minority government including climate change action, national pharmacare, interest free student loans, cuts to cell phone bills and investments in affordable housing, as well as a new tax on the “ultra-rich.”

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, the only other major party leader campaigning publicly Sunday, said he has no interest in forming a coalition with anyone.

“There will be no support for a government, for a party, for a coalition or anything of the sort,” Blanchet said in French during a campaign stop in an NDP-held riding northeast of Montreal.

“We speak exclusively for Quebec and our friendships are more within Quebec than with the other parties in Ottawa.”

Blanchet said he would support any government on any issue as long as the policy is good for Quebec, and that the determination of support will be made case-by-case.

In 2008, the Liberals and NDP formed a coalition with a written letter of support from the Bloc, that intended to topple the minority Conservative government under former prime minister Stephen Harper. To avoid losing power, Harper prorogued Parliament, and by the time the House of Commons resumed almost two months later, the Liberals had undergone a leadership change and the prospect of a coalition with the NDP dissolved.

Harper called the idea of the coalition an attempt to seize power by an “unelected” government, a line he repeated during the 2011 election when he worked to convince voters to give him a majority government rather than risk a coalition. They did for one term, defeating him in favour of a Liberal majority in 2015.

Some Conservative pundits and online voices have been warning of the idea of a coalition already, and it could become fodder for Scheer this week now that Singh has put it right out in the open.

Scheer — who was taking a day off to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family Sunday — is making his final week’s push an effort to show voters comfortable with the idea of a Conservative government. After unveiling his full platform Friday, Scheer is now turning attention to detailing what the first 100 days of his prime ministership would look like.

All the parties were focused over the Thanksgiving weekend on getting out their voters, with four days of advance polls from Friday through Monday.

In 2015, more than three million voters took advantage of the advance polls, one-fifth of the total number of votes cast. Elections Canada reported that over the first two of the four days of advance polls, about two million votes have already been cast, which is 25 per cent more than over the first two days in 2015.

Singh’s first act Sunday was to cast a ballot in the advance polls in his Burnaby South riding, a seat he won in a byelection last winter more than a year after he won the NDP leadership.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

DOH
Provincial grant tapped to finance downtown project

Butler and 10th next on improvement list

RDBN. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Houston Soccer club. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston Soccer gets record number of registrations

Club will have a soccer season amidst COVID restrictions

District of Houston
Safe Restart grant spending firmed up

Will help cover losses from recreation fees

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read