There is no proposal or deal to form a formal Liberal-NDP coalition government when the House of Commons returns later this month, says NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
During a media availability on Tuesday, Singh was asked about social media posts and comments put out by Conservatives over recent days that suggested a Liberal-NDP coalition was in the works.
That came after NDP officials said there had been “informal” talks about whether the fourth-place party would support the government’s legislative agenda, but that no deal had been reached.
“There is no agreement of that nature before us,” Singh said on Tuesday.
“We are prepared to make Parliament work for Canadians.”
Singh offered a blunt “no” when asked whether there had been any talk of a coalition at all, before being asked why he thought Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole would suggest a coalition might be in the works.
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“Making stuff up, I think,” Singh responded.
With a minority government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will need the support of at least one other party in order to pass legislation when the House of Commons returns on Nov. 22.
In the previous Parliament, that was frequently the NDP.
The party predominantly played the role of kingmaker during the previous minority, and appears poised to do so again. However, that does not make the government a formal “coalition.”
A “coalition” in the parliamentary sense typically refers to a formal agreement between two or more parties where neither has enough seats to hold power on their own, and they strike a deal to govern together.
The parties then share cabinet positions, usually for a specific or targeted period of time.
These kinds of deals are uncommon in Canada, with just one example federally in 1917.
O’Toole and the Conservatives have raised the spectre of a “Liberal-NDP coalition” in social media posts and in comments to journalists, with O’Toole saying such a deal would be a “disaster” for the economy.