A second Trump presidency would spell bad news for Canada, Singh warns caucus members

EDMONTON — Former U.S. president Donald Trump is an "egomaniac" who lives in his own world and whose bid to win back the White House could spell trouble for Canada, warns federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Trump has already made it clear that a second term as president would allow him to seek vengeance against his political enemies, Singh said this week as his caucus members gathered in Edmonton.

"It is clear that his job, that his goal, is not to help out people that are struggling with the high cost of living or housing or inflation in the states," he said.

"He’s openly running on an egomaniac, vengeance−filled motive to become the president and it is incredibly disturbing to watch this."

A potential rematch of his 2020 election battle with U.S. President Joe Biden became more likely Tuesday after Trump won the New Hampshire primary, tightening his grip on the Republican presidential nomination.

The federal Liberal government plans to launch a "Team Canada" task force to promote its domestic interests to prepare for a Trump presidency, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned would come with a sizeable degree of unpredictability.

And with the Trudeau’s party down in the polls, Liberal MPs have tried to paint their Conservative rivals with the same brush, denouncing Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre as representing "Trump North."

The Conservatives dismiss the attacks as Liberal efforts to distract Canadians from the pocketbook issues they predict will be Trudeau’s downfall.

Singh, too, has tried to link Poilievre and Trump, accusing both of being in politics for themselves.

"It makes sense for Poilievre to attack Trudeau," Singh said.

"But what we often see him do is pick on the weak. He’s not willing to take on corporate greed, he’s not willing to take on the powerful because that who he’s controlled by."

Conservative spokesman Sebastian Skamski accused Singh of covering for the Liberals to distract from Trudeau’s "record of misery" after eight years in power.

The "costly coalition" between the Liberals and the NDP "is desperate to blame their failures on anyone but themselves," Skamski said in a statement.

Singh, whose party hopes to wrest seats in Alberta away from the Conservatives in the next federal election, frequently reminds his audiences about the last time the Tories and former prime minister Stephen Harper were in power.

It’s all part of a familar NDP gambit: trying to position the party as a viable, trustworthy alternative to the predictable pattern of Liberal and Conservative governments.

He urged people to look to his party’s track record helping to usher in new social policy initiatives, such as a public dental care plan for uninsured Canadians, rather than dwelling on comparisons to the former president.

"Donald Trump is frankly in completely a world of his own," he said.

"The things that he has done, the things that he has said, the type of person he is, there is no other comparison to someone who is as bad for democracy, as bad for people, as bad for the planet as Donald Trump."

Later Wednesday, the NDP caucus was expected to turn its attention to how best to tackle Canada’s crushing housing shortage.

Singh and his caucus were to meet with local and provincial housing experts before the retreat wraps up Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2024.

— With files from The Associated Press

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press


Subscribe to 'The Buzz' with Peter Mansbridge sent every Saturday morning. Subscribe for FREE!  Subscribe