Politics

Trudeau to hold meetings with opposition leaders

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to conduct one-on-one meetings with each of the House of Commons party leaders later this month.

PM reaching out as success of minority government requires co-operation from other parties

Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Oct. 23. The prime minister wants to meet with each opposition leader later this month. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to hold one-on-one meetings with each of the House of Commons party leaders later this month.

The meetings will likely be held the week of Nov. 11, according to a spokesperson in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). The scheduling of those meetings is already underway. 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet have each been contacted, the PMO said.

The NDP confirmed to CBC News that Singh will be meeting with Trudeau.

The conversations are expected to focus on things Trudeau raised in his post-election news conference: finding common ground, representing Western Canada, moving forward on environmental protections and how to make life more affordable for Canadians.

The party leaders and the prime minister have kept relatively low profiles since election day, when the Liberals were reduced to a minority government but held onto power. 

Because they fell short of the 170 seats needed for a majority, the government will have to rely on support from one or more of the other parties to pass legislation or survive votes of confidence in the House of Commons. 

Singh had already started to outline his conditions for supporting the Liberals during the campaign. A strong commitment to environmental issues and pharmacare have been presented as non-negotiables for securing the NDP's support. 

Trudeau has ruled out a coalition arrangement — one that could see members of other parties named to cabinet positions — but a confidence-and-supply agreement or working on a case-by-case basis could still be on the table.

Two days after the election, Trudeau hinted at these upcoming meetings. At the time, he said he planned to sit down with each of the leaders to discuss their priorities and how they can work together — plans that are now underway.

Since the election, the PMO said the prime minister has had calls with all sitting premiers, municipal and Indigenous leaders plus defeated and current MPs.

CBC News has reached out to the Conservatives and Greens for comment. 

With files from Katie Simpson

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