Jagmeet Singh says he is no puppet.
At least, he says, not for the Conservatives or Liberals.
Singh says he wants to help people, while keeping this minority parliament afloat.
It’s no easy task.
His federal NDP party is constantly cast in the light of “propping” up the Liberal government.
Like when his party voted Wednesday against a Conservative party motion to create an anti-corruption committee to look into Liberal scandals, like the infamous WE charity debacle that continues to drag on, and on.
Singh’s party voted against it because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slapped a confidence motion tag on it, meaning the government would fall if the Conservatives won.
This would have sent everyone to the polls in the midst of the second wave of the novel coronavirus global pandemic.
Singh said there’s no way that was going to be pinned on the NDP.
“I want to be clear, we didn’t support the Liberal government. What we did is voted against the election that Prime Minister Trudeau is trying to put on Canadians,” said Singh on Nation to Nation, in a wide-ranging interview spanning more than 20 minutes.
That’s not the way the National Post framed it.
The conservative-leaning paper pinned it all on Singh.
The front page headline left little doubt: NDP PROPS UP LIBERALS AGAIN
This was over a cartoon of Trudeau and Singh where the NDP leader says: “I have decided not to call an election.”
It’s hard to miss that Singh’s turban is larger than normal. But so are both of their noses, so that makes sense?
Sure. Just remember to let the prime minister know. pic.twitter.com/fVEFsxMpBi
— National Post (@nationalpost) October 22, 2020
Singh, a practicing Sikh, is known for his religious headwear.
Either way, the Post later goes on to say the last thing that Conservative leader Erin O’Toole wants, who is trailing Trudeau in the polls, is a snap election.
So the paper blames Singh.
“There’s got to be a reason to go an election,” said Singh, taking the high road.
“And, in this case, the prime minister was trying to go to an election over a committee and I can’t imagine how the prime minister would justify that.”
Instead, he explained, the NDP will keep trying to help people opposed to settling political scores or sharing in the same splitting of political hairs.
It’s a tough task, considering everything.
Minority government’s usually don’t last long and this may be the last time, in a long while, that the NDP have this much leverage to help people, as Singh said.
Watch the full interview with the NDP leader below where he also discusses why he was baffled when Trudeau took a knee at a Black Lives Matter demonstration.
He also speaks about the time when his family lost their home and how it wasn’t until he became leader of the party that did he finally begin to see, and feel, the injustices Indigenous communities face every day.