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New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh made a bold statement directed at Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer on Wednesday, stating that the federal election was proof that you can’t be both a social conservative and serve as prime minister.
Singh told reporters that abortion is “between a person and their health care provider and no one else has any business being involved in that,” going on to criticize Scheer for his personal views on gay marriage rights, according to HuffPo Canada.
“You cannot have Mr. Scheer’s beliefs and be the prime minister of Canada. It’s pretty clear,” Singh said.
Singh made the comments during the NDP’s first post-election caucus meeting, a meeting which had 15 less familiar faces than at this time last year. The New Democrats went from 39 seats to 24 in the last federal election, a result that Singh says he isn’t satisfied with. “I’m not going to be satisfied until we form a New Democratic government. … If Mr. Trudeau wants to deliver something that’s national and that’s progressive, he needs to work with us.”
Scheer’s stance on the matter, of course, contrasts Singh’s. Scheer told the Canadian Press that it’s indeed possible to hold socially conservative values and also lead the country as prime minister.
“I believe you can have both of those positions: you can have a personal view and you can acknowledge that in Canada, the prime minister does not impose a particular viewpoint on Canadians,” he said. The Conservatives, while increasing their seats from 95 to 121, failed to form government in 2019, leading to murmurs from Conservative MPs as to whether the leader is fit to lead the party.