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)
Lights, camera, action: IFF Film Club launches monthly discussions

The club meets virtually every second Tuesday of the month to chat about indie films

Fernie Delivery is the valley’s first delivery company. (Photo Contributed)
Fernie’s first delivery service kicks off

Fernie Delivery gives residents the chance to get any local goods delivered to their doorstep

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
‘Horrible’: Number of positive tests in Elk Valley on the rise

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

(File Photo)
Fernie Heritage Library plans Family Literacy Day events

The Fernie Heritage Library is hosting a number of programs to get kids excited about reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Robbie Campbell lost his livelihood when the pandemic shut down Shambhala Music Festival. Instead, he spent part of 2020 working on a children’s book called Tulip that is now available. Photo: Submitted
In a lousy year, a Kootenay man was saved by a pink T-rex

Robbie Campbell became a children’s author after the pandemic cost him his livelihood

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Most Read