World Trudeau’s Fate Now Rests in Hands of Canada’s Socialist Leader

19:48  24 september  2020
19:48  24 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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(Bloomberg) -- After announcing an ambitious spending plan to spur Canada’s recovery, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have to sweeten the package to push it through parliament.

Since the governing Liberals lack a majority in the legislature, Trudeau needs backing from at least one opposition party for the agenda to avoid an election. Only the left-leaning New Democratic Party indicated it could be willing to support the prime minister, but on condition the government add to its list of measures.

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Jagmeet Singh standing on a stage © Bloomberg Jagmeet Singh

Jagmeet Singh speaks at a New Democratic Party rally in Vancouver in October 2019.

Photographer: Darryl Dyck/Bloomberg

That puts the social-democratic NDP, and its leader Jagmeet Singh, in the rare position of being in the spotlight for global investors, at least temporarily. The Canadian dollar has moved little since Trudeau outlined his plan Wednesday, suggesting financial markets expect the two sides will be able to find common ground.

“There will still be some horse-trading before we know the government is safe in power,” Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, said in a report to investors.

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In one of the most anticipated speeches of Trudeau’s five years in power, he vowed to keep the fiscal taps open to surmount short-term challenges. the prime minister also laid out a list of longer-term plans, including a national daycare system, pharmacare and more spending on housing and the environment.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Trudeau’s Travails © Bloomberg Trudeau’s Travails

The main rival Conservatives have already said they will oppose the plan. The third-largest party, the separatist Bloc Quebecois, said Trudeau didn’t heed calls from provinces for more health-care spending.

Singh said the NDP wants the Liberals to introduce more access to paid sick leave and end planned reductions in unemployment benefits. He also wants to see details of Trudeau’s plan fleshed out in legislation, which would make the Liberal pledges more credible. The earliest lawmakers will be able to vote on the so-called Throne Speech is next week, but debate could stretch beyond that.

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Before the end of this month, the government also needs to pass legislation implementing changes to its income-support programs. Trudeau is transitioning millions of people away from the country’s flagship pandemic stipend onto employment insurance, which for many Canadians will represent a drop in benefits.

Election Odds

Trudeau told reporters last week he doesn’t want an election, calling it “irresponsible.” Two government officials, speaking on condition they not be identified, said they expect the NDP to eventually support the Liberals.

Economists share that view. “This is unlikely to bring down the government,” Rebekah Young, director of fiscal economics at Bank of Nova Scotia, said in a report to investors.

While Trudeau managed to retain power in last October’s election, his government lost its majority and received the lowest share of the popular vote -- at 33% -- for any governing party in the nation’s history.

The average duration of the last three Canadian minority governments was just over two years.

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© Provided by Le Point Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday promised to create a million jobs and called on Canadians to redouble their efforts to that the "second wave" of the coronavirus pandemic is no worse than the first. "We are entering an autumn which could be much worse than spring", warned the Prime Minister in a rare "speech to the nation" of about fifteen minutes.

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