Trudeau to meet with opposition leaders
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hold one-on-one meetings with each of the opposition leaders later this month before heading back to the House of Commons with a minority government.
The meetings will take place the week of Nov. 11, according to a spokesperson in the Prime Minister Office (PMO).
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet are expected to meet with Trudeau separately.
The meetings serve as an important first step for the Liberal minority as they look for support in a minority Parliament in order to advance their agenda, which includes billions in new spending on students, families and the environment, and committing Canada to net zero emissions by 2050.
The party leaders have remained fairly quiet since the Oct. 21 election. During a CTV News Channel panel discussion on Saturday, Liberal strategist David Zimmer said the meetings will help Trudeau figure out “what they (other party leaders) want from him to ensure their cooperation.”
Conservative strategist Neil Brodie pointed out that when it came to legislation related to social issues, Trudeau could rely on parties like the NDP and for fiscal issues, he might lean more on Conservatives.
“Trudeau has enough dance partners in the House of Commons to move an agenda forward,” Brodie said, stressing that the prime minister would need to stay fairly down the middle to maintain broad support and avoid another election so soon after the last one.
NDP strategist Tom Parkin said federal party leaders have to make it clear that this will simply be the first of many, ongoing meetings, otherwise, it’s not a good sign for anyone.
Trudeau hinted to these meetings just two days after the election, saying he planned to sit down with each of the leaders to discuss their priorities and how they could work together.
He has ruled out a coalition agreement, but will require support from one of more of the other parties to pass legislation.