New Democrats shut down chance of snap election

22 Octobre, 2020, 07:16 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Trudeaus' speaking fees, expenses disclosed as potential confidence vote still looms

The vote in the House to reject a Conservative motion to establish an anti-corruption committee has averted the prospect of snap fall election - for now.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau survived a confidence vote on Wednesday after a key opposition party backed his ruling Liberals, averting the chance of a snap election as a coronavirus outbreak worsens.

"This government is starting to look more and more like a club of cronyism, who take money from public funds and to give to their friends", said BQ House Leader Alain Therrien.

The Liberal Party won re-election previous year, but does not have the majority of seats in Parliament and must rely on at least one opposition party to remain in power. "As much as we don't want an election during a pandemic, we also might not want an election as we're rolling out a vaccine and trying to get everyone vaccinated and get this thing over with".

Earlier in the week, CPC leader Erin O'Toole insisted that a non-confidence vote was arising exclusively because the Liberals don't want anybody looking into their dealings, and that a potential election should fall on them.

Singh declined to say how New Democrat lawmakers would vote.

On Wednesday morning, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said that his party would not give Trudeau an "excuse" to send Canadians to the polls in the middle of a global pandemic. Independent MPs Jody Wilson-Raybould and Marwan Tabbara also voted with the Liberals. He criticized Trudeau for framing the vote as a confidence matter. Their view is that this would free up other committees who had been looking into the controversy before Trudeau prorogued Parliament this summer, to refocus on other issues.

"Quite frankly, we don't care what this committee is called, what the structure of the committee is, we just believe that it needs to be one that will hold this government to account".

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But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has 24 seats and has propped up the minority Liberals before, said he would not support an election call.

The final vote came in as 146 for, and 180 against. They need confidence in the future.

The Bloc Quebecois have already said they support the Conservatives, meaning the pressure is on the NDP to decide which way to go: Side with their opposition colleagues and bring down the government, or with the Liberals. Such a committee could yet be created if the Liberals and NDP can agree on the committee's scope. There will be no glory for O'Toole if he charges the guns in the valley of electoral death and becomes the shortest-lived leader in Conservative history.

Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota speaks during a virtual session of Parliament on April 28, 2020 in Ottawa.

The current predicament MPs find themselves in comes after Liberal filibusters to end opposition attempts to revive studies into the WE Charity $912-million grant deal. One area of focus is payments to Trudeau's wife and mother by a charity chosen to manage a student grant program.

Both Trudeau and Morneau are under investigation by the federal ethics commissioner for possible violations of the Conflict of Interest Act.

What happens next remains to be seen!

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