The federal Liberal government has rigged the system to make it harder for workers to make ends meet – and Conservatives aren’t going to make it any better. That was the message sent by federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to delegates at the 2024 CUPE BC convention.

Times are pretty tough… I know it’s harder than ever to buy groceries, harder than ever to pay your rent, to pay your mortgage and everything seems like it’s just getting harder and harder. Life shouldn’t be this hard,” said Singh, in a video message to convention Friday afternoon. “We know that when it comes to the cost of living, it is a direct result of policies that the Liberal governments have brought in. They have rigged the system.”

Singh laid out the case that any measures that have come from Ottawa to help workers are a result of the NDP holding the balance of power in Parliament.

“In this minority government, we have used our power to try to make life better for people. We have shown that better is possible… You can get something better when you have New Democrats fighting for you,” said Singh, citing federal paid sick leave, anti-scab legislation, national dental care and pharmacare as proof.

“None of this was going to be possible without New Democrats fighting for it. And none of that was possible without CUPE fighting along our side, being on our side, supporting the work we did,” added Singh.

While he said Canadian workers are growing increasingly frustrated with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Singh warned delegates about other parties trying to court working peoples votes.

“We’ve got the Conservatives who claim to be the friends of working people. But we know the truth about Conservatives. We know the truth about Pierre Poilievre,” said Singh. “We know what conservatives do when they’re in power. They cut healthcare. They cut education. They make life harder for workers. That is exactly what Pierre Poilievre is going to do.”

Singh closed with a pitch to CUPE members, asking for support in next year’s federal election to build a better country for working people.

“I want a government focused on working people, focused on everyday folks, focused on making the system work for you, unrigging the system that has been for so long protecting billionaires and rich corporations. I want Canada and the Canadian government to work for you, for working people, for young people, for families, for seniors. That’s the Canada I want to build,” said Singh.