Trudeau government's future looks safer after NDP says deal struck on drug costs

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Greater Vancouver

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The chances of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau staying in office until an election next year appeared more certain on Friday after a political party that is keeping him in power said it would continue backing him.

Trudeau's ruling Liberals only have a minority of seats in the House of Commons elected chamber and need the support of other parties. In late 2021, the left-leaning New Democrats (NDP) agreed to back Trudeau in return for legislation to set up a nationwide system to help people pay for medication.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who had in recent weeks complained the Liberals were dragging their feet and mused about withdrawing his automatic support for Trudeau, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp that the two parties had now reached a deal on "pharmacare."

"We've secured something really important, I would say really historic for Canadians," he said.

Trudeau's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A government source confirmed that terms of an agreement had been reached with the NDP and that details would be made public next week.

Continued NDP support means Trudeau would be able to govern until the next election, which by law must be held at some point in October 2025.

A string of recent opinion polls show both the Liberals and NDP would be badly defeated by the right-of-center Conservatives amid voter fatigue with Trudeau, who has been in office since November 2015.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Sandra Maler)