Will the PSAC strike be to the NDP as the Freedom Convoy was to the Conservatives? As 155,000 public sector workers remain on strike across the country, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh joined picket lines last week in Ottawa. “These are workers that were the ones that delivered so much important supports for Canadians when we needed it most in the pandemic,” Singh said. “And now they deserve respect.”
Sound familiar? When the convoy rolled into town in January 2022, then-Conservative leader Erin O’Toole stated that “Truckers have been our heroes.” Leadership aspirant Pierre Poilievre later declared “I’m proud of the truckers and I stand with them.” Poilievre went on to win the leadership race and has championed the case of the “common people” — those who “fix stuff, move stuff, dig stuff and build stuff” — ever since.
Forget the laptop class. In the next election, the working class is where it’s at. And while most federal public servants don’t get their hands dirty, they share one thing with blue collar workers: unionization. Which makes the PSAC strike both a goldmine and a landmine for politicians.
For the NDP, it’s a chance to shore up their union base — which they sorely need. A recent poll by Abacus Data shows that both the Liberals and Tories enjoy far higher labour support than the NDP. Thirty six per cent of private sector union members and 34 per cent of public sector union members would vote Tory; 34 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively, would support the Liberals; while only 14 per cent and 26 per cent would choose the NDP.