Ottawa – October 26, 2021 – Now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the swearing in of a new cabinet on October 26 and the return to parliament on November 22, it is incumbent upon the Liberal government to look to opposition parties to make the new minority government work.
The recent election results returned a parliament that looks almost the same as the previous one with Canadians voting for all parties to work cooperatively to get things done for those in need.
The Liberal government has partners in Jagmeet Singh and the NDP, who have demonstrated their willingness to cooperate on issues that desperately need action.
Issues such as, dropping legal challenges against Indigenous children and dealing with the problem of clean drinking water in Indigenous communities. Paid sick days and resolving the problems with staffing shortages in health care are also issues that need to be addressed. So does aggressively tackling the climate crisis as well as moving forward on programs like pharmacare.
One sign of concern for the new government is their lack of support for hundreds of thousands of people who are still relying on the government for pandemic relief in the form of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). During the election Trudeau said he would be there to help Canadians in these difficult times for as long as needed but his government’s announcement to end CERB proves that Trudeau often talks a good game but lacks action.
There were over 800,000 CERB applicants in the most recent reporting period and with these workers no longer receiving the benefit, billions of dollars could be taken out of the economy. At the same time the government has not made the necessary changes to the EI system to ensure workers have the supports they need when exiting the program. Instead of cutting workers in need of support, CERB should be extended while the government permanently fixes the EI system.
If the recent election proved anything it is the expectation that minority governments find ways to solve these and many other issues. If the Liberals are willing, they can find partners in the NDP who also want to work in support of Canadians. Now is not the time for threats or blackmail about another election rather now is the time to get to work on the serious issues facing the country.