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RSS FeedsSusan Delacourt: A Liberal-NDP coalition may depend on these two women
(The Star Religion)


17 november 2019 18:24:06

Susan Delacourt: A Liberal-NDP coalition may depend on these two women
(The Star Religion)

A small, eclectic crowd of journalists and political types was on hand this week at a Sparks Street bar in Ottawa to see the debut performance of the “Lowertown Riffraff,” an East Coast party-music band, also made up of journalists and politicos. At one of the big tables sat two women who have come to know each other well over a decade working behind the scenes in federal politics: Katie Telford, chief of staff to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Anne McGrath, who is currently in charge of transition for New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh. It’s become far more rare over the past decade or so in Ottawa to see cross-party socialization: partisans are far more likely to hang out with their own teams in the polarized after-work circuit. But this week wasn’t the first or last time that Telford and McGrath would find themselves around the same table. Eleven years ago, Telford and McGrath worked on the teams negotiating the 2008 Liberal-NDP-Bloc deal that almost brought down Stephen Harper’s newly elected government. Four years ago, the two were the campaign chiefs for their parties in the 2015 election. On Thursday morning, hours after taking in some music together, McGrath and Telford were reunited yet again — this time at the Trudeau-Singh meeting to explore possible harmony between the Liberals and the NDP. While it’s true that Trudeau may find other dance partners to support the government in this minority Parliament, the long history between Telford and McGrath may bode well for a working relationship between the Liberals and NDP. It’s worth noting that both of these women have been working at co-operation between the two parties much longer than either of their current leaders have. Telford had been widely rumoured to be the next Canadian ambassador to the United States if Trudeau won a majority, but she’s staying on as chief of staff and Trudeau’s institutional memory in this minority Parliame ...

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