Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has brokered a deal with opposition leaders to stay in office until 2025, it was announced Tuesday in Ottawa.
The ruling Liberals have reached what Trudeau dubbed as a “supply-and-confidence” agreement with the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) after promising to advance a range of issues, including a dental care program for low-income families.
The deal gives Trudeau's government a total of 184 votes in the 338-seat House of Commons – a majority is 170 seats – and the ability to stay in power for the full, four-year term, with the NDP agreeing to back it on budgets and confidence votes. Trudeau explained this new step would bring “stability” to Canadian politics after a series of snap elections in recent years.
“What this means is that during this uncertain time, the government can function with predictability and stability, present and implement budgets, and get things done for Canadians,” Trudeau said.
“Both parties have identified key policy areas where we share similar objectives and we’ve agreed to work together to put the needs and interests of Canadians first,” the Prime Minister went on.
The NDP also explained in a statement that the parties had agreed on several issues, including a dental care program and universal prescription-drug coverage. They also pledged to continue fighting the climate crisis and phase out public financing of the fossil-fuel sector. “We’re making sure people get help to get their teeth fixed, to get the medication they need,” NDP leader Jagmeet Singh told reporters.
“And we’re not going to let the Liberal government off the hook. We’re going to continue to fight hard for people and continue to make sure we hold them to account to deliver these things that people need,” he said.
The NDP has backed the Liberals in key votes since 2019, as the ruling party failed to gain a majority of seats in Parliament in two successive federal elections, the latest of which was held in September.
The opposition Conservative Party slammed the agreement, saying in a statement it was “a callous attempt by Trudeau to hold on to power.”
Conservative interim leader Candice Bergen said “Canadians did not vote for an NDP government” and called the resulting agreement “little more than backdoor socialism,” while Yves-Francois Blanchet of the Bloc Quebecois said such an understanding behind the curtains created a “false majority.”