NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Donald Trump’s return to the White House would be a “disaster” and would mean “trouble” for Canada.
The NDP leader also says it’s unfair to compare Poilievre to Trump
David Thurton · CBC News
· Posted: Jan 24, 2024 2:57 PM EST | Last Updated: January 24
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks to media while kicking off the NDP caucus retreat in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, January 22, 2024. (Jason Franson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Donald Trump’s return to the White House would be a “disaster” and would mean “trouble” for Canada.
“This is an unmitigated disaster. Donald Trump is an egomaniac who is charged with multiple crimes and has been convicted of inappropriate activity,” Singh told reporters ahead of Trump winning a second Republican primary Tuesday night.
“His goal is vengeance. He’s openly running on an egomaniac, vengeance-filled motive to become the president. And it is incredibly disturbing to watch this.”
Trump’s return to power, Singh said, would mean “a lot of trouble… a lot of worry and fear for” Canadians.
“It’s going to be bad,” he added.
Singh made the comments Tuesday while attending the NDP caucus retreat in Edmonton.
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Joe Biden, the incumbent, is expected to face Trump in November’s election. Trump is the overwhelming favourite to win the Republican party’s nomination — and he strengthened his hold on the nomination with a win in the New Hampshire state primary on Tuesday night.
Trump’s return was also top of mind for Liberals as they wrapped up their cabinet retreat in Montreal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office said in a statement that the cabinet “discussed ways to strengthen Canada’s relationship with the United States” ahead of the presidential election.
Trudeau announced “a Team Canada engagement strategy” to be co-led by International Trade Minister Mary Ng, Industry Minister François Philippe-Champagne and Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman.
In his comments, Trudeau struck a diplomatic tone. He said it’s important for the Canadian government to work constructively with “whatever administration is in place.”
Trudeau said his government made it through the challenges the previous Trump administration presented, and both countries do best when they work together.
But Trudeau admitted a Trump presidency would create challenges for Canada.
“Obviously, Mr Trump represents a certain amount of unpredictability,” he said.
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Although Trudeau did not do so on Tuesday, he and others within his party have compared Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre to “MAGA Conservatives” — a reference to Trump’s followers and his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
CBC reached out to the Conservatives for comment. The opposition leader’s director of communications Sebastian Skamski accused the Liberals of being desperate to distract from the “misery and pain” Trudeau caused while in power.
“It’s no surprise Liberals will make ludicrous claims in a desperate attempt to divide Canadians and hope they forget about their suffering,” Skamski said.
Poilievre’s office also noted a recent poll that found more Canadians believe Poilievre would do a better job of handling a Trump presidency than Trudeau would.
Singh said it’s unfair to equate Trump with Poilievre.
“Donald Trump, frankly, is in a complete world of his own. The things that he has done, the things that he says, the type of person he is, there is no other comparison to someone as bad for democracy, as bad for people, as bad for the planet as Donald Trump,” Singh said.
But the party’s whip, MP Rachel Blaney, said there are some parallels between Poilievre and Trump.
“I think they are very similar and it worries me greatly,” Blaney said. “We have seen Poilievre stand with people who have a very right-wing agenda and are not about supporting everyday people.”
Blaney said that, rather than comparing Trump with Poilievre, Canadians should focus on electing politicians who will stand up to “corporate greed” and build more affordable housing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Thurton is a senior reporter in CBC’s Parliamentary Bureau. He covers daily politics in the nation’s capital and specializes in environment and energy policy. Born in Canada but raised in Trinidad and Tobago, he’s moved around more times than he can count. He’s worked for CBC in several provinces and territories, including Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org