Grits shrug off coali­tion idea

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - BY STEVE LAM­BERT AND GEORDON OMAND THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

CP PHOTO

Lib­eral Leader Justin Trudeau, along­side Man­i­toba Lib­eral can­di­dates, talks to re­porters in Win­nipeg, Thurs­day.

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