Liberal, NDP agreement includes promises to further reconciliation

The Liberals and NDP have signed a major agreement that includes four key measures on reconciliation including; investments in Indigenous housing in 2022, accelerating the implementation of the federal pathways program to address missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, a federal-provincial-territorial table on MMIWG and more support for burial searches on the sites of former residential schools.

“I’m optimistic,” said Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council. “The stability that it brings to Parliament really allows us to be able to move on our priorities and I think the agreement, or the priorities that were set out in the agreement on reconciliation, were also very great to see and yeah, we’re optimistic about it.”

The president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada also said the deal is largely positive, but Lorraine Whitman would like to see more firm commitments in the area of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“The data is there, the research has been done, the calls for action have already been there,” she said, “So, let’s start taking them, implementing them and cost analyzing them and having the timelines there.”

The NDP has agreed to support the Liberal minority government on confidence motions until June 2025, in return, the party is getting a number of big promises from the government including a national pharmacare and low-income dental plan, a homebuyer’s bill of rights, and paid sick days for all federally regulated workers.

The agreement comes after almost three years of minority parliaments.

“What this means is that during this uncertain time the government can function with predictability and stability, present and implement budgets and get things done for Canadians,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said the deal will allow the government to bring more focus to First Nations, Métis and Inuit priorities.

“I think in the portfolio that Minister Patty Hajdu and I hold — Indigenous communities have said time and time again that sort of instability in government expressed particularly in minorities is a lot of concern for them (sic) in terms of long-term sustainable investments that we have to do to close economic gaps and move forward on a number of issues,” he said.

At the same time, Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen called the agreement a slap in the face to democracy and elections.

“This is an NDP/Liberal government and they have the majority,” she said “Eighty-two per cent of voters did not vote for a Liberal/NDP government including millions of Liberal voters. These Canadians woke up this morning to the fact that they have been hoodwinked and they’ve been deceived by their prime minister.”

Other commitments include further measures to tackle climate change, a more equitable tax system and making elections more accessible to voters.

Fraser spent the last 20 years working in both print and radio in Saskatchewan – mostly in the northern part of the province. Before joining APTN’s Ottawa bureau, he was news director for the Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation working out of their Prince Albert office. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Carleton University and a diploma of journalism from Algonquin College.