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Singh 'not satisfied' with confidence-and-supply agreement

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he’s “not satisfied” with his party’s confidence-and-supply agreement with the Liberals — signed a year ago this week — because it’s shown him he could do a better job running the country than the current government.

“And so it's led me to not be satisfied with the position I'm in,” he said. “I want to be the prime minister, but I'm proud of the work we've done.”

The deal sees the NDP support the Liberals and keep them in power until 2025 in exchange for progress on certain policy priorities.

In an interview with CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos, airing Sunday, Singh said he’s “really, really proud” of the commitments he’s secured through his agreement with the Liberals, citing the first phase of a national dental care program as an example.

“That's something I'm really proud of, but I'm not satisfied with it,” he said. “Maybe that's a better way to put it.”

“I'm not satisfied, because I don't want to just push government,” he added. “I want to be the one making the decisions for the interests of people, and having been in a position where I can actually influence decisions, I've seen how much better we would do if we were the ones calling the shots.”

Meanwhile the confidence-and-supply deal has some key line items that are expected to be in this Tuesday’s federal budget, such as expanding the dental care program. But to avoid worsening inflation, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has pointed to plans for fiscal restraint in the budget, while promising targeted measures to help struggling Canadians.

Singh said while he agrees targeted spending is what’s needed to help people weather the high cost of living, he also thinks the dental care program, and expanding the GST rebate, are the ways to do that.

Since the confidence-and-supply agreement was struck, Singh has yet to name a deal breaker. The NDP sided with the Liberals in invoking the Emergencies Act to dismantle the trucker protests last year and have declined to pull their support for the government amid ongoing calls to hold a public inquiry into foreign interference.

"We always have the right, if the government breaks any conditions of the agreement, if they don't follow through with what we forced them to agree to, we have then the power or the option of withdrawing our support," Singh told his caucus in January.

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Senior Digital Parliamentary Reporter Rachel Aiello

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