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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing key decisions about cabinet representation and how to win confidence votes in Parliament after Canadians reduced the Liberal party to a minority and elected no Liberal MPs from Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Mr. Trudeau began his day by greeting constituents at a subway stop in his Montreal riding of Papineau, but he was not scheduled to address the media Tuesday.

The Liberal Party finished 13 seats short of the 170 required to form a majority in the House of Commons. That leaves the re-elected Liberal government with two options: governing on an issue-by issue basis or reaching some kind of arrangement with a smaller party for support on confidence votes.

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Tim Murphy, who was chief of staff to former prime minister Paul Martin during the last Liberal minority government from 2004 to 2006, said Mr. Trudeau will likely want to meet with the other parties to hear what they have in mind.

“Job one is opening up the lines of communication and just having the conversations,” he said. “I’d probably walk into those conversations saying, ‘Look, our bias is toward governing issue-by-issue, but happy to have a discussion.'”

Mr. Murphy said a key difference between this minority and the Martin minority is that the Liberals can now win confidence votes with the NDP, whereas the two parties didn’t have enough combined votes during the Martin government.

SCENARIOS IN CONFIDENCE VOTE

LIB

CON

BQ

170 seats

for majority

NDP

GRN

216

LIB + BQ + NDP + GRN

213

LIB + BQ + NDP

189

LIB + BQ

181

LIB + NDP

180

CON + NDP + BQ + GRN

177

CON + NDP + BQ

153

CON + BQ

145

CON + NDP

SCENARIOS IN CONFIDENCE VOTE

LIB

CON

BQ

170 seats

for majority

NDP

GRN

216

LIB + BQ + NDP + GRN

213

LIB + BQ + NDP

189

LIB + BQ

181

LIB + NDP

180

CON + NDP + BQ + GRN

177

CON + NDP + BQ

153

CON + BQ

145

CON + NDP

SCENARIOS IN CONFIDENCE VOTE

170 seats

for majority

LIB

CON

BQ

NDP

GRN

216

LIB + BQ + NDP + GRN

213

LIB + BQ + NDP

189

LIB + BQ

181

LIB + NDP

180

CON + NDP + BQ + GRN

177

CON + NDP + BQ

153

CON + BQ

145

CON + NDP

He said that raises the possibility of striking some sort of written arrangement between the two parties along the lines of the deal reached between B.C.’s minority NDP government and the Green Party.

One clear challenge for the Liberal government is how it will repair relations with Alberta and Saskatchewan while relying on support from parties, such as the NDP, that oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“It’s no question that the economic opportunity and challenge of natural resource development in Western Canada versus the NDP position is not easily squared,” said Mr. Murphy.

There is some speculation the Liberal government may need to appoint senators from Alberta and Saskatchewan to sit in cabinet. Mr. Murphy said that will be a challenge for the Trudeau government given its policy of appointing senators who sit as independents.

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer spent the last few days of the campaign warning of a Liberal minority government supported by the NDP.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks with reporters following the results of the 2019 federal election in Burnaby, B.C., on Oct. 22.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Speaking to reporters in Regina Tuesday, Mr. Scheer struck a defiant tone, promising to stay on as leader and touting the Conservatives’ larger caucus as a win and saying the election result shows the Liberals “failed.”

“This is just the first step and the work starts immediately. The work starts today. We’re flying back to Ottawa with our team, we’re going to be going through what happened in this campaign and we’re going to be preparing the groundwork so that next time we’re even stronger and we’re ready to replace this Trudeau government,” Mr. Scheer said.

He said when Mr. Trudeau first won government in 2015, pundits were betting he would have two or three majority mandates. Mr. Scheer said “we now know that the next election will likely come much sooner than that.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said “everything is on the table” regarding potential arrangements for supporting the Liberal government.

“We’re not going to negotiate any of those things today,” he told reporters Tuesday in British Columbia, where he was re-elected to represent Burnaby South.

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Speaking in Quebec City, Quebec Premier François Legault said he would continue to work with the federal government on issues such as housing, the economy and the environment, without relying on the Bloc Québécois to relay his government’s wishes in the House of Commons.

"What I want is to work directly with Justin Trudeau," Mr. Legault said. "I will negotiate directly with Mr. Trudeau."

He added that he will “work with MPs from Quebec to defend Quebec’s interests, but my interlocutor will be Justin Trudeau.”

The Liberal Party won the most seats in the House of Commons on Monday, but lost the popular vote to the Conservatives. About 6.2 million Canadian voters – or 34.4 per cent – chose Mr. Scheer’s party over the 5.9 million voters – or 33.1 – cent – who opted for Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals.

With a report from Daniel Leblanc in Montreal

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