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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Trudeau meet to discuss throne speech

Last Updated Nov 14, 2019 at 8:42 am PDT

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh shake hands following the Federal Leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Que., Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

Singh said he has three key priorities that he hopes to see in the Liberal throne speech

His party would be willing to vote against the throne speech if it doesn't acknowledge the NDP's requests

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Thursday to lay out his priorities in the hope of leveraging his party’s position in a minority government.

With handshakes and smiles, the two leaders sat down in the prime minister’s office, with Trudeau saying he looks forward to working together and he believes their two parties can find common ground.

“Things like fighting climate change, making sure we’re addressing affordability issues, growing the economy in ways that helps everyone, working on reconciliation,” the prime minister said.

Speaking on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, Singh said he has three key priorities that he hopes to see in the Liberal throne speech, which will be delivered when Parliament resumes on Dec. 5.

But Singh has said his support to prop up this government is not guaranteed and he’s open to voting against the throne speech if he doesn’t see a concrete progressive plan.

The top ask from the NDP will be for Liberal support for the immediate creation of a national universal pharmacare program.

Singh said he wants to see an “openness” from the Liberals to public dental coverage, and a willingness from the government to work with them and address the priorities.

He said he will also push Trudeau to drop the government’s legal challenge of a recent Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that ordered Ottawa to pay $40,000 each in compensation to Indigenous children who were wrongly placed in foster care after 2007, as well as to their parents or grandparents.

Trudeau only needs the support of one other major party. The Conservatives have sounded pessimistic about the Liberal approach, while the Bloc Quebecois suggests it may support the government.