Green party Leader Elizabeth May is running for the Conservative leadership and said the next Liberal leader must be committed to keeping Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in power.
“If we don’t win this election, I would like to see us as the minority government,” May said Thursday.
“We need a Liberal majority to continue to work with our partner government, the Liberals, to take on the Conservatives.”
May is challenging her party’s federal leader, Rona Ambrose, for the job.
She said she believes the Liberal party should run a majority government and have the ability to negotiate with the Conservatives, who are still in government.
Ambrose said Trudeau has had “great leadership” during his first mandate, but she also expressed concerns about his performance.
“I’ve heard from some of our members that Justin Trudeau is a very good leader, but he has made some mistakes that have not been corrected, and that needs to be rectified,” Ambrose said.
“But I do think that if we have a Liberal government, we will continue to make the Liberal government’s case, because it’s a really good deal for Canadians.”
Ambrose said she’s “absolutely” open to working with Trudeau and other Liberals on a new climate change policy.
She is also critical of how Trudeau is handling his decision to abandon a plan to eliminate the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
“Trudeau has made a decision to go against the people of Canada,” she said.
May said she is “not at all” worried about her party being perceived as “soft on climate change,” but the party needs to do more to protect the environment and fight climate change.
“It is very important to us that we do our part,” May told reporters Thursday.
She also said she was pleased with the recent decision by Ambrose to endorse her leadership bid.
“She made a strong statement in favour of me and I think it’s important that other people in our party make statements of support for the next leader,” she told reporters.
“This is a good start and we are very hopeful that we will have a majority in Parliament.”
May said if she becomes leader, she would work with the next Conservative leader to “re-align” the party to the Liberals.
“You can’t have a party that is a minority government and then continue to say to the rest of Canada: ‘Look, I’m sorry, we’re going to have to agree with you, but we’re not going to be going along with the rest, we are going to change,'” she said in an interview with CBC’s Power & Light.
“That’s not the way a majority coalition works.”
In a statement, the Conservatives said they are committed to “getting the Liberals out of power and ensuring that Justin can keep the Liberals in government.”
“We will continue working with our partners to ensure that the Conservative government is a partner in delivering a stable government and a strong economy,” the party said.
Trudeau’s Conservatives have a narrow majority in the House of Commons, but are not expected to be able to form a government unless they win the support of one of their MPs.