Federal Election Special: Liberals Win Minority Government - Retail Council of Canada
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Federal Election Special: Liberals Win Minority Government

September 22, 2021

As members will know already, the federal election held yesterday returned essentially the same configuration of seats in the House of Commons that we have had in place since the 2019 election. 

The current seat count has the Liberals with 158 seats, Conservatives 119, Bloc Quebecois 34, NDP 25 and Greens 2. Because of the existence of almost one million mailed ballots that are being counted today, those numbers will probably change slightly but not by enough to give the Liberals a majority or to elevate any other party past their current ranking.

The Liberals will therefore continue as a minority government, relying principally on the NDP but on occasion the Bloc Quebecois to pass legislation.

Given the public’s lack of enthusiasm for an early election call, this government could continue in being for quite some time, as it would be a high risk politically for either the Liberals or the opposition parties to precipitate another election within the next two years.

RCC will be doing a more thorough analysis of the Liberal platform and of potential elements drawn from the NDP platform that may be insisted upon by the NDP as conditions for supporting the Liberal government. 

Areas of focus for our advocacy efforts will include the Liberal platform promises to protect businesses that implement mandatory workforce vaccination policies and the federal drive to have all provinces implement 10 paid sick days. In neither case does the federal government have clear jurisdiction and so these will likely be longer term discussions and may not come to fruition. We will also be looking to the government to make good on its promise to reduce credit card acceptance fees (“interchange”) and to continue support programs for the hardest hit retail businesses.

Timing-wise, we would expect there to be an extended break in the sitting of Parliament, followed by a Throne Speech that will outline the government’s priorities either in late-October or more likely early-November.

For questions or more information contact

Karl Littler
Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs
416- 467-3783