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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


This content is restricted to subscribers

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


This content is restricted to subscribers

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


This content is restricted to subscribers

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


This content is restricted to subscribers

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


This content is restricted to subscribers

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


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Justin Trudeau has been Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister since 2015. Contrary to popular belief that’s been widely propagated by Liberal supporters and spin doctors, he’s accomplished almost nothing in office.

Until Monday evening, that is. Trudeau earned an unusual political distinction that no other Canadian PM has ever achieved. He found a way to shift the most left-leaning government in our country’s history even further to the left.

How did he do this? By signing a three-year agreement with Jagmeet Singh and the NDP.

Delivering for Canadians Now, A Supply and Confidence Agreement details the working arrangement between the two parties that will run from March 22, 2022 until Parliament rises in June 2025. It’s not an official coalition, which means no New Democrat will have a seat at the cabinet table. Rather, the NDP “agrees to support the government on confidence and budgetary matters – notably on budgetary policy, budget implementation bills, estimates and supply” and the Liberals commit “to govern for the duration of the agreement.” Moreover, the NDP has agreed to “not move a vote of non-confidence, nor vote for a non-confidence motion during the term of the arrangement.”

As the agreement states in part, “The parties have identified key policy areas where there is a desire for a similar medium-term outcome. We have agreed to work together during the course of this Parliament to put the needs of Canadians first.”

Some of these key policy areas include: introducing a dental care plan for low-income Canadians, passing the Canada Pharmacare Act in late 2023, new affordable housing measures, initiating massive emissions reductions by 2030, introducing Just Transition legislation to help workers, unions and other communities, ensuring ten days of paid sick leave is in place this year, additional investments for Indigenous housing, a fairer tax system, and removing barriers to voting and participation.

Dental care and Pharmacare, which are part of the current NDP playbook, have been rooted in socialist thinking for decades. They’ve been previously rejected by most Canadian voters, and not just right-leaning ones, due to the enormous costs and inefficiencies these state-run plans will undoubtedly incur. With the Liberal-NDP agreement in place, a proper debate in Parliament won’t happen and these policies will easily pass in a minority Parliament operating like a majority government is in charge.

Canada will also witness massive increases to the size of government, rate of taxation and role of the nanny-state. Any hope for a return to small government, low taxes and more individual rights and freedoms by voting out the minority Liberals has fizzled out in one fell swoop. If you thought things were bad under Trudeau for nearly seven years – and it’s been bloody awful – you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The Liberals and NDP are both declaring victory with the signing of this agreement. That’s predictable, but here’s the thing. Only one of them has the right to do so, and it’s not the junior partner in this arrangement.

Singh naively believes Canadians will give his party full credit for bringing in programs like public dental care and Pharmacare, if they’re successful. Not a chance. Most people barely remember what they had for breakfast a couple of days ago, let alone the specific party that proposed certain policies. If these social programs (and others) achieve what Trudeau hopes they’ll ultimately achieve, he’ll take all the credit – and the voters will reward his Liberals for introducing these policies.

Here’s a historical example to prove my point.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation exists in Canada due to the efforts of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett and the Progressive Conservatives. They launched the state-owned Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, the CBC’s predecessor, in 1932. Without it, our public broadcaster may never have come to fruition – or could have ended up looking very different than it does today.

How many Canadians know this? Other than a smattering of historians and political junkies, the numbers are relatively small. Most Canadians would likely (and incorrectly) assume the Liberals and NDP had something to do with it, since they vigorously defend the CBC. Today’s Conservatives largely believe in either reducing funding for the public broadcaster, or defunding them altogether. So, their historical role has either been forgotten, ignored or usurped by parties that had nothing to do with the CBC’s creation.

That’s what will happen to Singh and the NDP.

Without any representation at the cabinet table, the NDP’s initiatives will be lost in the political wilderness. Singh’s memorable opposition to Trudeau’s three instances of blackface will become a tiny footnote in history. His party has seemingly accepted the fact that they’re irrelevant, can’t win federal elections on their own, and are more undeserving of representation in the House of Commons than ever before.

The NDP will be remembered for a couple of things. Protecting Trudeau, a weak, ineffective Prime Minister who has repeatedly embarrassed his country on the domestic and international stage. Propping up a Liberal Party that’s won the last two federal elections with minority governments and finished second in the popular vote both times, and giving them a safe political ride for the next three years.

Oh, and signing on to a misguided agreement that is, in the words of interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen, “little more than backdoor socialism.” Singh and Trudeau are probably both fine with this, truth be told.

Michael Taube, a long-time newspaper columnist and political commentator, was a speechwriter for former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


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It was inevitable that hybrid sessions would be returning to the House of Commons after the Liberals and NDP both decided that they were necessary, but in trying to justify the decision, there was a combination of telling on themselves, as well as creating a new and impossible standard that they will one day come to regret. On top of that, they are continuing to set a precedent for ways in which ministers can avoid accountability both from the Commons itself as well as the media, which makes this government’s promises about openness and transparency even more hollow than they already were.

For starters, part of MPs telling on themselves is the fact that this decision is decisive proof that they do not care about the health and safety of the interpretation staff. MPs have been told repeatedly that seventy percent of interpreters have suffered either acoustic or cognitive injuries as a result of the hybrid sittings, and that they are being asked to put their health and safety on the line so that MPs can stay home. They have also been told that the finite number of freelancer interpreters in the country, who have been filling in for those interpreters who are unable to work, have not been afforded the same sick benefits that the full-time interpreters have been, meaning that they are even more at risk because they can’t take the time off when they suffer the same injuries. And MPs have proven that they do not care, and that these interpreters are essentially furniture to them.

The other way that MPs told on themselves was in some of the ways they tried to justify this move as being more than just for the pandemic. NDP MP Laurel Collins took her infant into the Chamber with her, and held her during her speech so that she could demonstrate why she needs hybrid sittings for instances where she can’t travel because of her daughter. Numerous other MPs, past and present, lined up over social media to praise Collins and to insist that this was about work-life balance for young parents – no matter that MPs already can design whatever accommodations they see fit to help them, unlike any other workplace in the country (which is fair, because Parliament is not like any other workplace) – but it proves that this is not about the pandemic. Liberals were trying to institute these hybrid sittings ever since 2015, and were being rebuffed by other parties, and they didn’t let the pandemic go to waste in proving the need for this change. They mean for these changes to be permanent, and that is deleterious to the health of our Parliament going forward.

But aside from this particular bout of telegraphing motives, the overt framing that the Liberals used was to try to kick at the Conservatives for the unknown number of MPs in their caucus who allegedly have “vaccine exemptions” of dubious merit given how statistically improbably any more than one exemption would be, and the fact that at least one MP who has claimed such an exemption – Dean Allison – has also been touting the benefits of ivermectin and has invited any “scientists” who want to dispute the merits of vaccination onto his local call-in show. The most irritating part of this, however, is that the Liberals kept trying to frame this as MPs feeling “unsafe” in the House of Commons as a result. They seem to have picked up this particular rhetorical device from certain segments of the online population who use the term of feeling “unsafe” in order to shut down any content they disagree with, and clearly that was what they were hoping to achieve.

Most concerning out of all of this was the fact that MPs have now set up an impossible standard of perfect attendance that never existed before, and which should not exist. There has been so much hyperbolic rhetoric about MPs not being able to raise the concerns of their constituents in debate or in being able to vote that they have literally just made their lives hell. Yes, representation matters, but there are other avenues than simply name-checking one’s riding during a prepared twenty-minute speech based on directions given to them by the House Leader’s office. Often that input is more seen and felt in the caucus room, which is behind closed doors but sometimes that’s where important work gets done without the need for public performance around it. There are more substantive ways to represent concerns than in giving speeches, which is why the concern is so overblown.

By creating this impossible standard around attendance, MPs have just ensured that their jobs, which are already essentially 24/7, even more demanding so that they can no longer take sick days or a leave of absence if it becomes necessary, as the expectation has been set that they must either attend virtually, or vote remotely. This is neither healthy nor responsible, and it also screws future parliaments because there are sometimes tactical absences necessary to prevent the government from falling on confidence votes when there is a much narrower divide in seats in a hung parliament, where one or two votes can make that difference. Those tactical absences are going to become impossible with this standard set, which could make for far more uncomfortable situations down the road.

This is just one more example of how fetishizing technology intended to solve certain problems only winds up creating other, more serious problems down the road. It’s not like they weren’t warned, or that some of the more forward-looking MPs could see this coming. It’s not like there aren’t voices who are telling them that this will only lead to MPs becoming further siloed, where they won’t be able to interact outside of the Chamber and see each other as human beings, who know that this will only further suffocate collegiality and decorum. MPs will come to regret this move before too long, but by then it will be too late, and all for the sake of trying to score points against the Conservatives.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.