Lead­ers meet: Scheer to ask Trudeau to re­open Par­lia­ment in 2 weeks

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD - STEPHANIE LEVITZ

OT­TAWA — Con­ser­va­tive Leader An­drew Scheer will present a to-do list to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau on Tues­day that be­gins with a spe­cific re­quest: call the House of Com­mons back to work on Nov. 25.

The two lead­ers are to meet face-to-face for the first time since Trudeau lost his ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment last month, and Scheer’s de­mand for the re­turn of the House of Com­mons in two weeks time is one of sev­eral he’s bring­ing to the ta­ble.

With ma­jor re­gional di­vi­sions ex­posed by the Oct. 21 vote, an on­go­ing af­ford­abil­ity cri­sis and trou­ble in the oil­patch, MPs need to get back to work, said Scheer’s spokesper­son Si­mon Jef­feries in an email Mon­day.

“Justin Trudeau can’t keep run­ning scared from test­ing the con­fi­dence of the House. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on be­half of Cana­di­ans,” he said.

Jef­feries de­clined to spec­ify what other items Scheer will present to Trudeau on Tues­day, say­ing they will be “tan­gi­ble and spe­cific pri­or­i­ties” the Con­ser­va­tives would like to see in the throne speech.

They will be based on the party’s over­all aims for the 43rd Par­lia­ment: na­tional unity, help­ing Cana­di­ans get ahead, restor­ing ethics and ac­count­abil­ity in gov­ern­ment, and get­ting the en­ergy sec­tor back to work.

A spokesper­son for Trudeau said the Lib­er­als’ first mea­sure will be to lower taxes for the mid­dle class, and they ex­pect other par­ties to sup­port that.

“We are open to work­ing to­gether on is­sues that mat­ter to Cana­di­ans — Cana­di­ans ex­pect this Par­lia­ment to be suc­cess­ful and work for them,” Eleanore Cate­naro said in an email.

The Lib­er­als won 157 seats last month, the Con­ser­va­tives 121.

For the Lib­er­als to re­main in power, they’ll con­stantly need sup­port from their op­po­nents: the Tories, the Bloc Québé­cois who hold 32 seats, the NDP with 24 and the Greens with three. There is also a sin­gle in­de­pen­dent, for­mer Lib­eral cab­i­net min­is­ter Jody Wil­son-Ray­bould.

The date Scheer is re­quest­ing for the re­turn of Par­lia­ment comes five days af­ter Trudeau is ex­pected to swear-in a new cab­i­net to over­see his mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment.

When it comes to who should sit in cab­i­net, the prime min­is­ter is faced with tricky choices on that score, with his party now hav­ing no MPs from Al­berta or Saskatchew­an.

The Con­ser­va­tives have pledged to be a strong voice for the West in Ot­tawa, and the Al­berta MPs in the Con­ser­va­tive cau­cus are work­ing to come up spe­cific strate­gies.

But Trudeau is also do­ing some out­reach. On Tues­day, he’ll meet with Saskatchew­an’s con­ser­va­tive premier, Scott Moe.

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