Tories fight idea of NDP-Lib­eral coali­tion

Dead­locked with Lib­er­als in polls, Scheer’s team says Trudeau-Singh coali­tion would raise car­bon tax more

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD - JOAN BRY­DEN

OTTAWA — Con­ser­va­tives are us­ing the spec­tre of a Lib­er­alNDP coali­tion gov­ern­ment to urge Cana­di­ans to hand An­drew Scheer a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment on Oct. 21.

NDP Leader Jag­meet Singh raised the prospect of a coali­tion Sun­day, say­ing his party would “ab­so­lutely” con­sider for­mally join­ing forces with the Lib­er­als to pre­vent the Con­ser­va­tives from form­ing a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment.

With just a week to go in a cam­paign that’s seen the Lib­er­als and Con­ser­va­tives dead­locked in the polls and nei­ther within reach of a ma­jor­ity, Lib­eral Leader Justin Trudeau re­fused Mon­day to con­tem­plate a coali­tion sce­nario.

He dodged ques­tions about a coali­tion dur­ing a cam­paign stop in Wind­sor, re­spond­ing that he re­mains fo­cused on win­ning a ma­jor­ity.

“Our fo­cus is on elect­ing a pro­gres­sive gov­ern­ment and stop­ping Con­ser­va­tive cuts,” Trudeau said.

But the Con­ser­va­tives pounced on Singh’s spec­u­la­tion to stoke fear about what a coali­tion gov­ern­ment might mean.

In a news re­lease Mon­day as Scheer trav­elled to Win­nipeg, the Con­ser­va­tives said if the Lib­er­als were de­pen­dent on the NDP to re­tain power, it would mean hik­ing Trudeau’s car­bon tax even higher than cur­rently planned, and that would “shut down in­dus­try and kill jobs” and even larger deficits.

“Justin Trudeau will pay any price to stay in power. And it’s your money he will pay with,” the Tories said.

“There’s only one way for Cana­di­ans to stop this coali­tion that you can­not af­ford: Vote for An­drew Scheer and elect a Con­ser­va­tive ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment.”

With polls sug­gest­ing the NDP na­tion­ally and the Bloc Québé­cois in Que­bec have got a bounce out of last week’s lead­ers’ de­bates, Trudeau ramped up the mes­sage he’s ex­pected to ham­mer home ev­ery day un­til vot­ing day: pro­gres­sive vot­ers must vote Lib­eral to stop the Con­ser­va­tives.

He pointed out that the NDP and Bloc both had strong con­tin­gents in the House of Com­mons dur­ing the al­most 10 years that Stephen Harper was prime min­is­ter and they couldn’t stop him from cut­ting pro­grams and ser­vices, at­tack­ing unions and re­treat­ing from Canada’s cli­mate-change com­mit­ments in the Ky­oto Pro­to­col.

On Sun­day, Singh was un­equiv­o­cal about his will­ing­ness to form a coali­tion to pre­vent a mi­nor­ity Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment.But he would not re­peat that sen­ti­ment Mon­day.

“You’re not stuck with two choices. You can go be­yond that. You can choose New Democrats who will fight for you, who have al­ways fought for you and that’s what we of­fer in this elec­tion.”

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