NDP perfectly placed to push Indigenous rights when Trudeau doesn’t: Newly elected MP

The NDP may have finished fourth in the federal election last Monday but is perfectly placed to push for Indigenous rights when the prime minister inevitably comes looking for a deal to prop up the minority Parliament says Leah Gazan.

Gazan was elected in Winnipeg Centre defeating the Liberal incumbent, Robert Falcon-Ouellette, and firmly believes the NDP are the big winners, at least for Indigenous people.

“I think this is the perfect situation,” said Gazan on Nation to Nation airing Thursday evening.

“Don’t forget it was a Liberal minority with New Democrats in opposition that got medicare and CPP in Canada. I think we are in a perfect position to push forward a bold agenda, particularly around human rights.”

(Leah Gazan. Facebook photo)

Gazan has been a longtime activist for Indigenous rights and the climate change. She doesn’t expect that to change now that she is going to be in the House of Commons.

“I will stay true to that and I’m looking forward to pushing a bold climate agenda,” she said.

Nation to Nation’s panel, albeit short regular guest Pitseolak Pfeifer this week, agreed the NDP, and maybe the Bloc Québécois, hold a lot of power.

But how Trudeau juggles how he gets support is another question.

“I think he might get support from the Conservatives on the Trans Mountain pipeline but what would that mean if he were then to go to the NDP for support when it comes to a different matter on the agenda?” said Caroline O’Neill, the morning reporter for Ottawa’s Indigenous radio station 95.7 ELMNT FM.

Trudeau spoke to reporters in Ottawa Wednesday and the first thing he said was the Liberals are moving ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline, currently held up by courts and select Indigenous opposition, and providing tax cuts to the middle class.

Veldon Coburn, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, said it looked as though Trudeau was already appealing to the Conservatives.

“It seemed to be sort of a gift to a region of Canada that did not support him at all really,” said Coburn, referencing the fact that the Liberals were completely shut out of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Catch the full discussion tonight.



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