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Canada Liberals threaten to call election if Parliament passes 'anti-corruption' committee motion

03:15  20 october  2020
03:15  20 october  2020 Source:   nationalpost.com

Conservatives push for vote on WE scandal as Liberals delay committee motions

  Conservatives push for vote on WE scandal as Liberals delay committee motions OTTAWA — The Conservatives are looking to force a vote over a proposal to probe deeper into the WE Charity scandal, part of an effort by the opposition to reignite the controversy that rocked the Trudeau government this summer. Conservative members announced plans Thursday to move a motion next week that would establish an “anti-corruption committee” of 15 MPs to delve into the WE scandal and other possible conflicts of interest. The motion will be debated during opposition day in Parliament, scheduled for Tuesday.

Rodriguez called the new Conservative motion on the WE Charity scandal “extremely partisan and The Trudeau government then prorogued Parliament just as the law clerk had raised the issue Critics called the prorogation a bald attempt by the Liberals to shift focus away from the WE scandal

The Liberal government and the NDP have agreed on a motion that would create an electoral reform committee with seats allotted proportionally by the popular vote in last Aaron Wherry has covered Parliament Hill since 2007 and has written for Maclean's, the National Post and the Globe and Mail.

Pablo Rodríguez wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez says the opposition motion is © Provided by National Post Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez says the opposition motion is

OTTAWA – The Liberals are threatening to send Canadians to the polls if Parliament passes an opposition motion to create an “anti-corruption” committee, calling the Conservative proposal “ultra-partisan” and “irresponsible.”

On Monday, Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez expressed frustration at the Conservatives’ push for the committee, which would be composed of 15 MPs tasked with delving into the WE Charity scandal and other possible conflicts of interest involving the Liberals.

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  John Ivison: Canada is heading into a 'foggy' fiscal future, new C.D. Howe report warns The government leader in the House of Commons accused his political opponents of “paralyzing committees with partisanship” on Monday, apparently struck by amnesia about last week’s Liberal filibuster and the prorogation that stopped those same committees digging into the WE Charity affair. Pablo Rodriguez didn’t even blush as he portrayed the Conservatives as the thieves of parliamentary time. Their efforts to discover how much the prime minister’s mother and brother were paid to speak at WE events are an abuse of Parliament’s authority, he said, and the Conservative proposal to set up an “anti-corruption committee” threatens to spark an election.

If a confidence motion is lost then the Government is obliged to resign or seek a dissolution of Parliament and call a General Election . After a defeat on a major issue of government policy the Government may resign, dissolve Parliament , or seek a vote of confidence from the House.

After pursuing two failed motions of no confidence last week the opposition is set to resume hostilities in parliament on Tuesday. The ‘jobs ready’ graduate bill has finally passed parliament , after a positive vote on the amended bill in the lower house.

“When you’re asking the government to concentrate all their efforts on what is requested by this committee instead of fighting the pandemic, or instead of being there for Canadian households, we think that it’s extremely irresponsible,” Rodriguez said during a news conference.

Rodriguez sent a letter to all opposition parties threatening that if the Conservative motion is passed on Tuesday, it would raise “serious questions” about whether the government has lost the confidence of the House — which could then trigger an election.

When pressed on the threat by reporters, Rodriguez was vague about whether the Liberals would push for an election.

“We’ll see about that later. But a motion like this one … sends a message saying that they don’t have confidence in the government,” Rodriguez said.

Parliament headed for showdown, possible election, Wednesday over Conservative motion

  Parliament headed for showdown, possible election, Wednesday over Conservative motion OTTAWA — The Liberals face a high-stakes game of chicken Wednesday, as they stare down the opposition parties over a confidence motion that could force the country into an election as the second wave of a pandemic rages. The Conservatives fired the first shot Tuesday, moving ahead with their proposal to create a new committee designed to look into the WE Charity scandal, and other allegations of inappropriate lobbying and spending. It is set to The Conservatives fired the first shot Tuesday, moving ahead with their proposal to create a new committee designed to look into the WE Charity scandal, and other allegations of inappropriate lobbying and spending.

“If elected president, I will treat foreign interference in our election as an adversarial act that significantly affects the relationship between the Take Joe Biden’s statement regarding his plans to retaliate against Russia in the event of any interference by Moscow in the 2020 US presidential

The Conservative– Liberal Democrat coalition agreement (officially known as The Coalition: Our Programme for Government) was a policy document drawn up following the 2010 general election in

The anti-corruption committee motion is one of three that could be tabled by Conservatives on Tuesday. But a party source confirmed Monday that MPs had chosen it over a motion to ban Chinese telecom giant Huawei from Canada and another imposing economic sanctions on Chinese Communist Party officials.

The motion would require support from all opposition parties to pass.

The Bloc Québécois supports the motion, while the NDP has not made a final decision on the matter and continues to negotiate with the Liberals.

But Monday’s threat of a confidence vote by Liberals did not impress the opposition.

“Is he really suggesting that if the committee looks into Trudeau’s corruption that Trudeau is just going to call an election?” said Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre. “No government in Canadian history has been brought down because an opposition motion passed to set up a committee.”

This brawl in the Commons may end in a draw — but there will be others

  This brawl in the Commons may end in a draw — but there will be others That sound you hear emanating from Ottawa — a dull rumble of umbrage and purported principles — is the sound of your democracy at work. Maybe it's not the sound of your democracy working beautifully — NDP leader Jagmeet Singh used the word "farce" — but your democracy is still basically working. Minority parliaments such as the one we have now — where no one party has a majority of seats in the House of Commons — always seem very good in theory. In a minority situation (in theory), the government of the day can't run roughshod over the opposition, parties have to work together to find compromises and Parliament is in a much stronger position to hold t

The president also predicted the US election result would be determined before the Supreme Court. US President Donald Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's election . "Well, we'll have to see what happens," the president told a news conference at

The Democrats are also seemingly preparing to reject an election loss. Hillary Clinton weighed in and advised The ability to find a middle-road appears bleak, as Biden’s main election message in the 2020 election is that he is not Trump, while Trump similarly cautions that Biden will destroy America.

Conservative house leader Gérard Deltell also blasted Rodriguez’s comments in a letter of his own released later on Monday.

“To suggest that a motion concerning the internal affairs of the House of Commons and the organization of its committees constitutes a question of confidence is simply ridiculous,” Deltell said.

“To threaten to plunge the country into a general election while Canada is in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic, all because you want to avoid some tough questions, is simply reckless and irresponsible.”

Though it’s now spilled into the House of Commons, the battle over the study of the WE Charity scandal has been raging in various committees for weeks now.

Lately, the Liberals have filibustered multiple parliamentary committees as they try to avoid being outvoted by the opposition parties.

Pierre Poilievre wearing a suit and tie:  Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre: “Is he really suggesting that if the committee looks into Trudeau’s corruption that Trudeau is just going to call an election?” © Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre: “Is he really suggesting that if the committee looks into Trudeau’s corruption that Trudeau is just going to call an election?”

In the ethics committee, the Liberals have been filibustering debate to delay voting on a Conservative motion that orders the Speakers’ Spotlight bureau to turn over details of speaking fees paid to Trudeau and his wife, mother and brother since 2008. Opposition MPs say they want to verify how much money WE Charity and its affiliates paid the Trudeau family over the years.

Political tricks in House of Commons risk treating Canadians to a snap fall election

  Political tricks in House of Commons risk treating Canadians to a snap fall election OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats on Tuesday were once again grappling with a decision about whether to support the minority Liberal government or potentially force an election upon Canadians struggling with the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh refused to see it that way, calling it a "farce" that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a confidence matter out of a Conservative motion to create a special COVID-19 pandemic investigation committee.If the result is an election, that's on Trudeau to explain to Canadians, Singh said.

As election day approaches, polling companies will be trying to gauge the mood of the nation by asking voters which candidate they prefer. That's one of the reasons why some political analysts rate his chances of re- election as low as things stand.

Who decides to call a general election ? The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 provides that Parliament is dissolved automatically after 5 years. Since the Fixed-term Parliaments Act was passed A motion for a general election is agreed by two thirds of the total number of seats in the

In his letter, Rodriguez said this is an intrusion into the lives of private citizens, and said the committee would be “severely abusing its authority” by passing the motion. “No Canadians should have to fear that parliamentarians may arbitrarily force them to divulge their personal financial information, even more so when they did nothing wrong,” Rodriguez said.

However, the stand-off may be coming to an end after NDP MP Charlie Angus proposed an amendment on Monday that would remove Trudeau’s mother and brother from the motion. Liberal MPs indicated they were in favour of this, but the meeting was adjourned due to technical problems before a vote could take place.

Meanwhile, Liberal filibustering over a Conservative motion that protests redactions applied to thousands of pages of WE Charity documents released by the government in the summer has paralyzed the finance committee.

The health committee has also been bogged down due to Liberals fighting a Conservative motion that would order a sweeping study into the government’s handling of the pandemic — including by ordering the production of a massive trove of government documents for committee inspection.

A Liberal counter proposal would see the committee study the response, but without the document production order.

Rodriguez has said the second wave of the pandemic makes it too dangerous for the government to comply with huge document production orders from the opposition, and that public servants have more important work to be focusing on.

“In normal times, calling for the vast production of documents across multiple departments places a significant strain on public servants who must physically go to the office to conduct such searches,” Rodriguez said in his letter.

“Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I fear that such sweeping document production motions with extremely tight timelines put forward by Conservative MPs are intentionally designed to be impossible to complete.”

• Email: cnardi@postmedia.com | Twitter: ChrisGNardi

• Email: bplatt@postmedia.com | Twitter: btaplatt

Pushing back: Why the Trudeau Liberals were prepared to take Canada to an election .
OTTAWA – When rumours first emerged last week that the Liberals would take a Conservative motion designed to get a new committee looking into the WE scandal as a confidence vote, they were largely dismissed. Wild and ultimately unsubstantiated rumours are as common on Parliament Hill as Catholics in Vatican City. While the first ten months of 2020 have seemed much longer, the Liberals have only been in power a year. They have a fiscal update coming and legislation to pass. They have a small but not insurmountable lead in polls and plunging Canadians into an election with COVID-19 cases on the rise is a considerable risk.

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