NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks to the media after the Canadian federal election in Burnaby, B.C., on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks to the media after the Canadian federal election in Burnaby, B.C., on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer offered the Liberals no help Tuesday to try and piece together national unity after an election contest that’s left the country divided on regional lines.

Scheer seized on his party’s success in the popular vote, the complete annihilation of the Liberals in Alberta and Saskatchewan and the re-emergence of a strong Bloc Quebecois as evidence that whatever pleasure the Liberals might take from Monday’s night results has also come at a cost.

Trudeau spent 40 days demonizing the provinces and anyone else who disagreed with him, said Scheer. The choice is his about what happens next.

“Justin Trudeau now has to make a decision if he’s going to change course, have a more co-operative approach with all provinces, or if he’s going to continue down on this path,” Scheer said in Regina.

“We’re going to do everything we can to fight for a united Canada.”

But the results Monday night also showed a divide for the Conservatives to contend with.

While the Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario. The Conservatives failed to make any significant gains in Ontario and also lost one of their highest-profile MPs — deputy leader Lisa Raitt. The Conservatives also lost seats in Quebec, where the Bloc Quebecois snatched away many of their hoped-for gains.

All told, the Liberals won 157 seats to the Conservatives’ 122 even as the Tories claimed 34.4 per cent of the popular vote compared to the Liberals’ 33.1 per cent.

Scheer will face a potential leadership review in six months, at the party’s convention in Toronto next year.

He, and those closest to him, were adamant Tuesday that he will remain in place, though there was grumbling among those farther away from his orbit about the party’s failure to capitalize on the multiple scandals around the Trudeau Liberals.

READ MORE: Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Conservatives say they threw all the resources they had at this election, but always knew the strong drive for change that unseated them in 2015 wasn’t a powerful enough force, at a national level, to take Trudeau down.

After 2015, the plan and budget they put in place had always been set with a long game in mind: a potential minority in 2019, and then a majority after that government fell, party sources said on background Tuesday, granted anonymity to talk about internal strategy.

Scheer also characterized Monday’s results that way.

“We’re going to work as hard as we can in the coming days to prepare the groundwork for the next campaign,” he said. ”This is a first step.”

The New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois held their cards close, and did not discuss any negotiating points they plan to raise with the Trudeau government after Monday’s federal election reduced the Liberals to a minority.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Tuesday he won’t negotiate an arrangement with the Trudeau government in public. His party won 24 seats, a worse showing than the 44 it won in 2015, and it was nearly wiped out in Quebec where it clung to just one.

But Singh said he will fight for the objectives he laid out in the federal election campaign, including helping students, moving ahead with publicly-funded pharmacare and fighting climate change.

“I am hoping that Mr. Trudeau respects the fact there’s a minority government now which means we’ve got to work together,” Singh said in Burnaby, B.C.

With Liberals just 13 seats shy of a majority, the fourth-place NDP still holds some sway with the resurrected Bloc Quebecois that will return to Ottawa with 32 seats.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said it’s not his job to make the new Parliament work, and that his guiding priority will be promoting Quebec interests.

He said he will not drive a sovereignty agenda, saying that will be dictated by a rhythm and timing dictated by the Quebec people.

“I expect us to have quite a good leverage,” said Blanchet.

Trudeau showed up at a Metro station in his Montreal riding of Papineau Tuesday to thank his constituents after the Liberals secured a minority-government victory.

Only a few hours after he left the stage at Liberal party election headquarters in Montreal, Trudeau stood at the top of the station’s escalators to shake hands with commuters, thanking them as they congratulated him on his electoral success and posing for photos when asked.

Trudeau made a similar appearance the morning after the Liberals won the 2015 election, surprising commuters in Montreal who were not expecting to see the prime minister on their way to school or work.

Unlike Scheer, Singh and Blanchet, Trudeau was not scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

People line up outside a vaccine clinic as seniors wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton Alta, on Friday February 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Health Services head sorry for glitches in vaccine booking system for seniors

AHS president said technical issues have been fixed and a virtual waiting room is in place

Vandalism is shown on Alberta NDP MLA Janis Irwin’s constituency office in Edmonton in this handout photo on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney quickly condemned vandalism at an Opposition legislature member Janis Irwin’s Edmonton office after the MLA posted pictures showing her front window spray-painted with the words “Antifa Liar.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Janis Irwin *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words ‘Antifa Liar’

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Most Read