"All of us need to continue to work to hold the federal government accountable and to ensure that they work for the good of the many, not for the chosen few.” ― Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (23 Oct. 2019) ― On October 21st, Canadians voted in the 43rd Canadian general election. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won the most seats, but Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party won the popular vote. However, the Liberal Party did not win enough seats to control a majority of the House of Commons.
2019 Federal Election Voter's Guide
In the lead up to the election, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) created a comprehensive guide to help our members become informed on where the candidates and parties stand on issues such as privatization, the environment, affordable housing, and pharmacare. In total, NUPGE's guide covered 19 key issues, each one accompanied by a sharable fact sheet, which were released in the weeks leading up to the election.
The seat breakdown in the House of Commons is as follows: 157 seats for the Liberal Party, 121 seats for the Conservative Party, 32 seats for the Bloc Québécois, 24 seats for the New Democratic Party, and 3 seats for the Green Party. Jody Wilson Raybould returns to the House as the only independently elected MP. The People’s Party of Canada failed to win any seats. To win a majority government, a single party must win 170 seats. This means that though the Liberals won the night with the most seats, they can only form a minority government.
“Minority governments aren’t a bad thing,” says NUPGE President Larry Brown. “When one party fails to gain a majority of the seats, it forces them to work cooperatively with the other parties. The NDP by itself, or the Bloc, hold enough power to tip the vote on legislation."
Brown feels that "this election demonstrated that Canadians are divided on a number of issues. We’ve seen that divide play out between provinces, and between urban and rural ridings. As a union, we remain committed to working to improve the lives of our members, as well as the lives of all Canadians. That means advocating for policies that help, and raising our voice against those that hurt. We look forward to working with the federal government and holding them accountable to ensure they work for the good of the many, not for the chosen few.”
Pharmacare and Electoral Reform
Several parties made promises about programs NUPGE has spent years advocating for such as pharmacare. The Liberal Party, NDP, and Green Party all included a promise to implement a national pharmacare program in their platform. If they work together, the three parties will have the votes required to get a bill on pharmacare passed in the House. NUPGE intends to continue advocating for a good national pharmacare plan as well as universal dental care and other healthcare programs that would benefit all Canadians.
NUPGE will also continue to call for electoral reform. Despite it being a prominent campaign promise by the Liberal Party during the 2015 federal election, the government in 2017 announced they were officially discontinuing their efforts on electoral reform due to a lack of interest.
Both the NDP and Green Party leaders have indicated they are open to putting the question of electoral reform back on the table. NUPGE will be watching closely to ensure the topic of electoral reform is resurected without it being used as a bargaining chip where the trade off results in the Liberals gaining support for legislation that is harmful to Canadians.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE