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

Conservation Officer warns to reduce attractants

‘Spring is coming and bears have already been spotted’

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

South Cariboo Farmers’ Market to operate with food vendors only

‘There will be no non-food vendors until further notice’

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read