Politics

Scheer makes call for Trudeau to reconvene Parliament on Nov. 25

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on Justin Trudeau to recall Parliament on Nov. 25, just five days after the prime minister is expected to unveil a new cabinet following last month’s election.

Liberals' first measure will be to lower taxes for the middle class, PMO says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, shakes hand with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer at the start of the Defi Pierre Lavoie, a 1,000-kilometre bicycle trek, in Saguenay, Que., on June 14, 2018. Scheer and Trudeau will meet face-to-face Tuesday for the first time since the Oct. 21, 2019 federal election. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will arrive at Tuesday's tête-à-tête with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau armed with a list of demands, beginning with a call to reconvene Parliament on Nov. 25.

The meeting between the two political opponents will be the first since last month's federal election, when Trudeau's Liberals were re-elected with enough seats to form a minority government.

Scheer's spokesperson Simon Jefferies said MPs should get back to work to address growing divisions in the country, affordability concerns, and an economic downturn in the energy sector.

"Trudeau can't keep running scared from testing the confidence of the House," said Jefferies. "We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on behalf of Canadians."

Jefferies said Scheer will lobby during Tuesday's meeting for "tangible and specific" measures to be included in Trudeau's throne speech.

The measures will be based on the party's priorities for the 43rd Parliament, Jefferies said. They include preserving national unity, helping Canadians get ahead, improving government accountability, and boosting employment in the energy sector.

Liberals' priority is lowering taxes: PMO

A spokesperson for Trudeau said the Liberals' first priority will be to introduce a middle class tax cut, a measure they expect will be supported by other parties.

"Our approach is to be open minded and work together on issues that matter to people right across the country, and we are committed to making Parliament work for Canadians," Cameron Ahmad said in an email.

Trudeau also plans to meet with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe on Tuesday. Moe has emerged as a vocal critic of the prime minister, warning of growing western alienation and calling for a "new deal" for Western Canada.

Moe has said he wants Trudeau to pause the carbon tax for one year, commit to reforming Canada's equalization formula, and to pursue new pipeline projects.

Trudeau has said he will unveil a new cabinet on Nov. 20 but has not announced when he plans to recall Parliament.

When Parliament reconvenes, the government will present a speech from the throne and seek to win the confidence of the House of Commons.

The Liberals won 157 seats last month, while the Conservatives garnered 121. For the Liberals to remain in power, they'll constantly need support from their opponents: the Tories, the Bloc Québécois who hold 32 seats, the NDP with 24, and the Greens with three. There is also a single Independent, former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

With files from Stephanie Levitz of The Canadian Press

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