Tentative Deal to Keep Canada's Liberals in Power Until 2025

TORONTO (AP) -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal party and the opposition New Democratic Party have reached a tentative agreement that would see Trudeau's Liberals keep power until 2025, a senior government official said Monday night.

The official said the agreement still needed approval from NDP lawmakers but the leadership of both parties had signed off. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Trudeau's Liberal party won re-election last September but failed to win a majority of seats in Parliament and must rely on the opposition to pass legislation. The leftist NDP party will support Trudeau's Liberals in exchange for deals on pharmaceutical and dental care plans but it will not have a lawmaker in Trudeau's Cabinet, the official said.

"The NDP-Liberal coalition is nothing more than a callous attempt by Trudeau to hold on to power," interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen said in a statement.

Bergen earlier tweeted, "God help us all."

Often branded a "liberal elitist" by his critics, Trudeau refused to meet with the anti-vaccine mandate protesters and truckers who laid siege to parts of Ottawa, the capital, for more than three weeks earlier this year. Some called for his government to be overthrown. Trudeau depicted the protesters as an anti-vaccine "fringe" fueled by disinformation and conspiracy theories.

Trudeau is still remembered for evoking the prospect of "sunny ways" when he took office in 2015 at age 43, the second-youngest Canadian prime minister ever. There have been setbacks since then, but he has been re-elected twice.

In theory, Trudeau could run again when the next possible election is held in 2025. But there are widespread doubts that he will do so, given that he would have been in power for 10 years, has seen a drop in his popularity and a rise in animosity toward him in much of western Canada.

Tall and trim, Trudeau channeled the star power -- if not quite the political heft -- of his father, Pierre Trudeau, who swept to power in 1968 on a wave of support dubbed "Trudeaumania." Pierre Trudeau, who was prime minister until 1984 with a short interruption, remains one of the few Canadian politicians known in America, his charisma often drawing comparisons to John F. Kennedy.