NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stands in front of his caucus as he speaks to reporters after the weekly caucus meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. New Democrat MPs will gather in Ottawa today for a two-day planning session to prepare the re-opening of the House of Commons next week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Jagmeet Singh says NDP caucus will discuss whether to support new NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said steps to ratify the new NAFTA are top of mind

New Democrat MPs will gather in Ottawa today for a two-day planning session to prepare the re-opening of the House of Commons next week.

Party whip Rachel Blaney says the party to discuss how to operate within the current minority Parliament, aiming to get the Liberals to deliver NDP priorities like pharmacare and publicly funded dental care.

“What I’m looking for is increased collaboration, more negotiating between the parties on key issues that matter,” Blaney said.

“I think a lot of Canadians are going to be looking to see what the Liberals are doing in their government and who they’re playing nicely with. There are three opposition parties at play … but at the end of the day when you look at some of the key issues that many Canadians brought forward about affordability, about the climate — the NDP is a great place for them to work with.”

Despite this interest in collaboration, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is signalling the Trudeau government won’t get an easy pass from his party on Canada’s new free-trade pact with the U.S. and Mexico.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that steps to ratify the new NAFTA, including legislation, will be among the first orders of business when Parliament resumes and that passing them will be a priority.

But Singh says the deal was negotiated in a “behind-closed-doors, take-it-or-leave-it way” and that his caucus will discuss whether to support it.

“How can Canadians trust the Liberals to get this right when they spent months saying they had the perfect deal and mocked us for saying it needed to be changed? Now they’re trying to take credit for changes they said were impossible,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

“Canadian workers shouldn’t have to rely on American politicians to protect Canadian jobs. They can count on us to look carefully at this agreement. We’re going to discuss it in caucus and in the debate in the House and see if it actually delivers for Canadians.”

Blaney says the caucus meetings will also include discussions on the downing of Ukraine Internatonal Airlines Flight PS752 and how MPs can support families of the 57 Canadian victims to get the transparency and answers they are looking for.

Singh delivers opening remarks this morning before the caucus hunkers down for its internal conversations.

READ MORE: Canada to ratify new NAFTA next week following U.S. Senate approval, Trudeau says

Teresa Wright, 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

Updated: Plane crashes in Saanich farm

Two sent to hospital with minor injuries after Cessna 172 crash at 8:55 a.m.

Greater Victoria sees highest gas prices in the country

The Capital Region sits higher than Vancouver and the northern Island

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s Langford home ahead of B.C. budget announcement

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Victoria, Abbotsford recorded biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

Two causes to be heard on legislature lawn during B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrations from forestry workers and Extinction Rebellion planned

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Forestry convoy headed down Vancouver Island to legislature lawn

Rally to be held Tuesday in Victoria pushing for the protection of ‘working forests’

Woman arrested in Cariboo after fuel stolen, police car rammed

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Most Read