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'Bring your Ministers back'; NDP's Singh calls possible fall election 'selfish' in letter to PM

Last Updated Aug 10, 2021 at 3:25 pm EDT

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

Federal NDP leader wants prime minister to call off any potential fall election, bring ministers back to parliament


In a letter, Jagmeet Singh says parliament needs to resume to pass important legislation


Party leaders have all begun pre-campaign events


OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says calling a snap election this fall would be “selfish” as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to flare up in communities across the country.

In a letter to the prime minister, Singh says Justin Trudeau should “bring your Ministers back off the pre-campaign trail, recall the House, and get to work.”

He said his party is willing to work with the federal government to pass what it considers important legislation, including the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Trudeau has not confirmed whether he plans to call an election this fall, however it is widely speculated the decision could come as early as this week.

Last month, he, along with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Singh began pre-campaign events in provinces such as British Columbia, where they hope to pick up more seats.

Trudeau denies the string of announcements is electioneering.

Singh previously announced he was kicking off a Canada-wide tour “to talk to Canadians about how the NDP has been fighting and will continue to fight for a future people can look forward to – more affordable, equal, hopeful, and secure.”

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Early polls put the Liberals in the lead, however, experts warn it is likely too early to know the outcome of an upcoming election. The Liberals hope to secure a majority, after failing to secure enough seats in 2019 to gain full control of the parliamentary agenda.

Singh claims Liberal ministers have been frustrated with not being able to pass more legislation, and blame the NDP.

He admits his party has been unwilling to support the government in moves such as back-to-work legislation for Port of Montreal workers, but says there are also other cases such as the supports for Canadians during the pandemic, where Ottawa has been able to find support from all parties.

“You have to negotiate improvements to these benefits to get our support,” Singh wrote, regarding COVID-19 supports. “This isn’t a symptom of ‘dysfunction.’ This is a Parliament working the way Canadians expect it to.”

He finishes by saying his party is ready to return to parliament.

Canada recorded more than 1,200 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths Tuesday.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has repeatedly said an election could be held safely, despite the threats of a fourth wave.