NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stands in front of his caucus as he speaks to reporters after the weekly caucus meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. New Democrat MPs will gather in Ottawa today for a two-day planning session to prepare the re-opening of the House of Commons next week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stands in front of his caucus as he speaks to reporters after the weekly caucus meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. New Democrat MPs will gather in Ottawa today for a two-day planning session to prepare the re-opening of the House of Commons next week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Jagmeet Singh says NDP caucus will discuss whether to support new NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said steps to ratify the new NAFTA are top of mind

New Democrat MPs will gather in Ottawa today for a two-day planning session to prepare the re-opening of the House of Commons next week.

Party whip Rachel Blaney says the party to discuss how to operate within the current minority Parliament, aiming to get the Liberals to deliver NDP priorities like pharmacare and publicly funded dental care.

“What I’m looking for is increased collaboration, more negotiating between the parties on key issues that matter,” Blaney said.

“I think a lot of Canadians are going to be looking to see what the Liberals are doing in their government and who they’re playing nicely with. There are three opposition parties at play … but at the end of the day when you look at some of the key issues that many Canadians brought forward about affordability, about the climate — the NDP is a great place for them to work with.”

Despite this interest in collaboration, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is signalling the Trudeau government won’t get an easy pass from his party on Canada’s new free-trade pact with the U.S. and Mexico.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that steps to ratify the new NAFTA, including legislation, will be among the first orders of business when Parliament resumes and that passing them will be a priority.

But Singh says the deal was negotiated in a “behind-closed-doors, take-it-or-leave-it way” and that his caucus will discuss whether to support it.

“How can Canadians trust the Liberals to get this right when they spent months saying they had the perfect deal and mocked us for saying it needed to be changed? Now they’re trying to take credit for changes they said were impossible,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

“Canadian workers shouldn’t have to rely on American politicians to protect Canadian jobs. They can count on us to look carefully at this agreement. We’re going to discuss it in caucus and in the debate in the House and see if it actually delivers for Canadians.”

Blaney says the caucus meetings will also include discussions on the downing of Ukraine Internatonal Airlines Flight PS752 and how MPs can support families of the 57 Canadian victims to get the transparency and answers they are looking for.

Singh delivers opening remarks this morning before the caucus hunkers down for its internal conversations.

READ MORE: Canada to ratify new NAFTA next week following U.S. Senate approval, Trudeau says

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read