Grits shrug off coalition idea
New Democrats say they’d two-step with the federal Liberals if it meant ousting Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, but their prospective dance partner isn’t hearing the music.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said Thursday that his party has always seen the defeat of the Conservatives as a priority.
“We know that they’ve done a lot of harm, and we want to start repairing the damage that (Harper’s) done,” Mulcair said from Amherstburg, Ont., where he stopped as part of an eightday tour.
“We’ve always worked with others in the past, but every time I’ve raised this prospect with Justin Trudeau, he’s slammed the door on it.”
The Liberal leader did that again on Thursday when asked in Winnipeg about the possibility of a formal coalition with the New Democrats.
“Although of course we are open to working with all parties in the House to pass good legislation and to ensure that Canadians’ interests are served, there will be no formal coalition with the NDP,” Trudeau said.
“There are fundamental differences of opinion on very important elements of policy — whether it be Canadian unity or the Canadian economy and the need for growth — that we disagree with the NDP on.”
Nathan Cullen, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley in British Columbia, raised the issue again in an interview Wednesday. He said winning a majority in a federal election expected this fall remains his party’s goal, but ultimately the No. 1 priority is toppling the Tories.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, alongside Manitoba Liberal candidates, talks to reporters in Winnipeg, Thursday.