In a move never before seen in Canadian history, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jagmeet Singh reached a new agreement that would see the NDP prop up Trudeau and ensure he remains prime minister until 2025. By then, Canada will have suffered a full decade with the Trudeau government.
The new agreement instantly awards Trudeau the benefits of a majority in the House of Commons. This official pact between the two parties rescues Trudeau and is an undemocratic manipulation that works around Canada’s electoral system. This merger agreement is not to be mistaken for a coalition government. The NDP cannot install government ministers.
Trudeau‘s power grab demonstrates his pattern of authoritarian overreach. In 2020, Trudeau’s Coronavirus Emergency bill granted cabinet “sweeping powers to tax and spend without parliamentary approval through end of 2021.”
The Calgary Herald highlighted the implications of the Bill–a harbinger of what was yet to come:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his minority government tried to sneak a power grab never before seen in our history into its emergency spending bill that would have, in essence, ripped up the Canadian Constitution, trampled the Magna Carta, damaged the very raison d’etre of Parliament and the role of the opposition and spit on the war graves of those who have fought and died for Canada’s democratic way of life.
Then last summer, the Washington Post published an op-ed in response to Trudeau’s sudden election call: It’s ridiculous that Trudeau gets to schedule the timing of his reelection. Trudeau’s unwarranted invocation of Canada’s Emergency Measures Act on February 14 to quash the Freedom Convoy movement should have been an omen.
Jagmeet Singh has at times been tough on Trudeau over ethics violations. Last July, Singh asked Governor General Mary May Simon — the mostly ceremonial representative of Queen Elizabeth II — to veto Trudeau’s outrageous election call in his failed attempt to gain a majority. But now, Singh has helped Trudeau attain the benefits of a majority.
The new pact ensures that bills introduced in parliament by the Liberals and NDP, will be passed by majority vote in the House of Commons. For example, when the House of Commons faces off in debate over a proposed budget Bill, the Liberals would easily win, now having an NDP guarantee, thus surviving a parliamentary vote of no-confidence. Or, should one of the opposition parties explicitly state that the House has lost confidence in the incumbent government, thus triggering a confidence motion, a direct vote of no-confidence will not pass. There are 338 seats in Parliament. The Liberals hold 160 seats as a minority government, the NDP holds only 25; but together, they have 185 seats, which constitutes a majority. The opposition Conservatives hold 119 seats, and the Bloc Quebecois holds 32 seats. This means that even if every member of the Bloc supported the official opposition Conservatives on bills, together the two parties would only have 151 seats, 34 less than the Liberal-NDP alliance. The Green Party, which generally aligns with the NDP, holds the other two seats.
Much talk circulated among Canadians after Trudeau’s Emergency Measures Act about the possibility of Trudeau facing a no-confidence vote. The new agreement with the NDP is Trudeau’s underhanded insurance policy against that happening.
The benefits to Trudeau are thus clear, but the deal offers little benefit to the blundering Singh. The two parties are already closely aligned on progressive policies, so they already, for the most part, support each other’s bills and initiatives as a matter of course. Most recently, Trudeau’s Emergency Measures Act could not have passed in the House of Commons without full backing from the NDP. The deal effectively reduces Singh to little more than a lackey of the Liberal government and Trudeau. The move is so humiliating for Singh that his embarrassment was on full display in the House of Commons. The National Post reported:
When Singh began asking a question to Trudeau, Conservative and Bloc Québécois MPs used their pens to tap the water glasses on their desks, replicating the common custom of wedding guests beckoning newlyweds to kiss during their marriage reception.
Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen rightly called the pact a “desperate” attempt by Trudeau to “cling to power.” But in an ominous warning, she stated that the new pact “hands the reins of government to the ‘socialist’ NDP,’” and threatens “a massive expansion of government and tax hikes to pay for billions of dollars in new spending on promised social programs.”
The generally Trudeau-supporting Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation quoted Bergen, who adequately described the deal:
The NDP and the Liberals were meeting in secret and they cooked up a backroom deal that will see Justin Trudeau get the majority power that he tried desperately to get last fall and failed to get.
The deal sent leaders of the oil industry reeling, since Trudeau is about to draft an emissions cap for the oil and gas sector, a move “Alberta business leaders said Monday, or risk far-reaching consequences for the Canadian economy.”
With Trudeau’s disturbing record of corruption, unethical behavior and massive overreach, Canada needs to brace itself. Trudeau admires China’s “basic dictatorship” for being “able to turn the economy around on a dime and say, ‘We need to go green, we want to start investing in solar.’” He has been steadily demonstrating that he has totalitarian tendencies, and will continue to do so.