After high-profile Democrats expressed support for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party ahead of the country’s federal election on Monday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Rashida Tlaib endorsed the New Democratic Party, led by Jagmeet Singh.
“There’s one party that stood up for working people in the pandemic. One leader who has the courage to make the wealthy pay their fair share so everyone gets the medication they need,” Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted Friday, explaining his support for Singh and the NDP.
Tlaib (D-Mich.) swiftly shared Sanders’ tweet, saying, “I endorse this message.”
I endorse this message. https://t.co/xHBWwfMmNV
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) September 18, 2021
Singh — who has been encouraged to “be the Bernie Sanders you want to see in the world” and “imagine the NDP as a populist incubator of Canadian versions” of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to build his party’s power — welcomed the Americans’ support.
“Bernie, you have fought courageously for public healthcare, affordable medication, making the rich pay their fair share, and tackling the climate crisis,” he said. “We’re doing the same here.”
“Canada, better is possible,” the NDP leader added. “But, you have to vote for it!”
People always ask me, 'what's the most impactful thing I can do to help the NDP?'
I always tell them – 'make sure your friends and family have a plan to vote.'
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) September 18, 2021
That message was echoed by Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein, who supported both of Sanders’ U.S. presidential runs. Thanking the senator, Klein tweeted: “Canada, we can vote for better on Monday. Let’s do it!”
Other NDP candidates and current MPs also celebrated the development. MP Brian Masse of Windsor West in Ontario said that “many of us have been inspired by Bernie’s campaigns fighting for working people and families. Together, we are #fightingforbetter.”
Sanders “knows that we’re the only party that will get working people through this pandemic,” said NDP candidate Angella MacEwen, telling voters in Ontario’s Ottawa Center that “you know what you have to do on Monday to make this happen.”
— Amirah Sequeira (@miraseq) September 18, 2021
When the Canadian Parliament was dissolved in August, NDP held 24 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons. Trudeau’s Liberals had the most seats (155), followed by the Conservatives (119), then Bloc Québécois (32). There were five Independents, two Greens, and one vacancy.
“This election is a critical moment for Canada,” declares NDP’s website. “Families are struggling to get back on their feet while the very wealthy see their fortunes grow. The climate crisis is destroying our communities and temperatures continue to rise. Indigenous communities still don’t have clean water to drink despite countless promises from the federal government.”
The party’s platform includes reducing “skyrocketing prices” of medication and housing, tackling the climate emergency in part by creating clean jobs, strengthening public healthcare, working toward “equal partnership with Indigenous communities,” and committing to “a future where racism, discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia have no place, where we fight for reproductive justice and an end to gender-based violence, and where government treats people with the respect and dignity we all deserve.”
Singh, the site adds, “is fighting for you. He’ll make sure the wealthy are paying their fair share. That Canada is a world leader when it comes to solving the climate crisis. That we’re taking real and impactful steps towards reconciliation. Unlike Trudeau’s empty talk, Jagmeet is ready to deliver for Canadians.”
Sanders and Tlaib’s endorsements came after former U.S. President Barack Obama tweeted support for Trudeau Thursday, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — who beat Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary then lost to former President Donald Trump — followed suit Friday.