The Parliamentary Game of Thrones
The Liberals set out their priorities for this mandate, while most other parties hesitate to support them
The Liberals are hoping climate change can be a unifying issue in this minority Parliament, but the NDP isn't willing to throw its support behind the government just yet.
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez told The House Friday that working toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050 should be a goal all parties can get behind — and a way for the Liberals to show they have their priorities straight.
"We're offering a set of solutions to fight something that's absolutely urgent," he said. "We have to do something."
Climate change and protecting the environment was a large part of Thursday's speech from the throne. The NDP isn't eager to vote in favour of it as a whole.
"What we heard really clearly was a lot of platitudes," said Rachel Blaney, NDP MP for North Island-Powell River. The NDP has long conditioned its support for Liberal legislation in the House of Commons on the introduction of pharmacare, stronger climate action and efforts to expand affordable housing.
The Bloc is the only party currently poised to support the Liberals' throne speech, and the Conservatives have accused the governing party of striking a deal with the Quebec sovereigntist party to omit mention of oil and pipelines from the speech in exchange for the party's support.
Rodriguez denied the claim and laughed.
"We're not going to work with deals, we're just working piece by piece," he said. "Let's say we want to do something on the environment ... You know. I wouldn't be surprised if the NDP and the Bloc supports us on on some measures on the environment, and maybe the Conservatives on lowering the taxes for the middle class. Why not?"
But the NDP isn't willing to cave on its version of pharmacare yet and plans to push the government to implement a universal, single-payer system.
"Our concern is, are you going to continue with the nice words, are you actually going to get something behind their substance? So what we're going to be looking at is, where is the substance," Blaney said.
Rodriguez, who has been elected in four minority governments, said each minority has different needs and weaknesses.
"No two Parliaments are the same."