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Singh confident of deal with Liberals ahead of New Year

As the New Year approaches, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he is confident in the state of his party’s confidence and supply agreement with the Liberals, as the deal nears its first anniversary.

The deal, reached in March, would see the NDP backing the minority Liberal government until 2025 in return for progress on certain policy priorities. Over the past nine months, they’ve made progress on a few big-ticket items, including a dental program for children under 12 in low-income families, which launched earlier this month, and a one-time supplement of $500. to the Canada Housing Benefit, with applications opening this week.

The Liberals also introduced legislation to protect Canada’s early learning and child care system and its funding. Filing the bill before the end of the year was a requirement of the supply and trust agreement.

Plans are yet to be seen to expand dental coverage next year to under-18s, seniors and people with disabilities, as well as a national pharmacare program and a handful of other promises.

“I think it’s been an opportunity for us to fight for the people, to use our power to get things done,” Singh told Joyce Napier during CTV’s Question Period, in an interview that aired Sunday. . “We know there is still a lot to do, but we are proud that we were able to help.”

Singh said the NDP has the ability to withdraw its support for the Liberals if there are signs of “any element of the agreement being breached by the government”, but has no intention of doing so anytime soon.

Instead, he said he plans to “keep fighting” to advance NDP-backed initiatives, and he’s optimistic that his 2023 priorities, national pharmacare, will come to fruition.

“We are very confident that this will be delivered within the framework of what we have forced the government to accept,” he said.

“We forced them to agree to do it and it should be filed by the end of next year,” he also said. “We are very confident that this will happen.”

Asked if he has a hard line that would see him scrap the deal, Singh said he’s waiting to see how 2023 goes, but he’s otherwise confident the deal is having results. positive.

“Overall, I said the other kind of major aspect that we’re looking at is that there may come a time when the government completely fails to meet people’s needs and just doesn’t show any interest in working for them anymore. get things done,” he said. “We’ll make that decision then if that’s what it’s all about, but right now our goal is to fight for the people, not to give up because it’s hard and not not back down because we’re not getting the results we want right now.

With files from Rachel Aiello of CTVNews.ca

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