Canada NDP won't give Trudeau 'excuse' for election, Singh says ahead of confidence vote in Commons
Kelly McParland: An amazing thing happened — Erin O'Toole didn't fall into a Liberal trap
Something significant didn’t happen last week in Ottawa. It was right there for everyone to see, the thing that didn’t happen. It involved Erin O’Toole, the new Conservative leader. After his victory in the leadership race, it was almost universally agreed by those in the know that O’Toole would face a tricky task as he tried to navigate the complicated currents of his party. O’Toole became leader thanks to late-ballot support from social conservatives. Most had backed other candidates in earlier ballots, but picked O’Toole over Peter MacKay when it turned into a choice between the two, O’Toole having put more effort than MacKay into wooing them.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said today that his party will not give Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an "excuse" to send Canadians to the polls in the middle of a global pandemic — an apparent signal that Trudeau's government will survive today's confidence vote.
In a news conference just two hours before a crucial confidence vote, Singh declined to say exactly how his MPs would vote or whether they might abstain.
"We are voting for Canadians. We are voting against an election," he said.
Singh said the NDP will still work to get answers on the WE Charity scandal through the Commons ethics committee, and that his party will push the government for more pandemic support for Canadians.
This brawl in the Commons may end in a draw — but there will be others
There’s a new hockey couple in town and they’re too cute to handle.
"People need help right now. They need confidence in the future. They're not looking for an election," he said.
"So New Democrats will not give Prime Minister Trudeau the election he's looking for. We're not going to be used as an excuse or a cover. We're going to continue to do the work that we need to do."
The Bloc Québécois had already confirmed it will support the Conservative motion, leaving the outcome in the hands of the NDP.
The vote is expected to happen around 3:15 p.m. ET and CBCNews.ca will carry it live.
The opposition day motion would create a special committee to probe the Trudeau government's ethics and spending in response to the pandemic — including the controversial WE Charity contract to administer a student volunteer grant program.
All eyes on Jagmeet Singh and NDP as confidence vote looms Wednesday afternoon
OTTAWA — A snap election could be imminent as a confidence vote looms in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon, but it will hinge on how the NDP decides to vote. The Liberals have declared that a Conservative motion to create a special committee to study various scandals and controversies — in particular, the WE Charity scandal — will signal a loss of confidence in the government if it passes. Should that happen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would ask Governor General Julie Payette to dissolve Parliament. Barring any surprise moves by Payette, Canada would then be plunged into a mid-pandemic national election.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not recuse himself from talks on the agreement, even though several of his family members had been paid for speaking engagements by the organization.
The Liberal government has declared the vote on the Conservative motion a matter of confidence that could trigger an election — a high-stakes move that
In a news conference before the vote, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said if the motion does not pass, he will continue to work with other parties to hold the government to account. He criticized the government and Trudeau for framing the vote as a confidence matter.
"His designation of this vote as a confidence vote shows that he's willing to put the electoral fortunes of the Liberal Party ahead of the health, safety and well-being of Canadians," he said.
"Most Canadians would think that's unacceptable."
NDP needs more 'conscientious' approach to avoid becoming permanent Liberal prop-up: experts
OTTAWA — Political strategists say the NDP under Jagmeet Singh risks falling into the role of permanent Liberal prop-up after the party on Wednesday again voted alongside the government to avoid triggering an election. Singh and 23 other NDP members voted against a Conservative motion on Wednesday that would form a committee to investigate the Liberal government’s involvement in the WE Charity scandal, which has embroiled the government and could lead to a third ethics violation by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
WATCH / Erin O'Toole on confidence vote:
Speaking to reporters after the Liberal caucus meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government needs the confidence of the House to do its job.
"I really believe at the end of the day common sense will prevail and we're going to get through this," she said.
Freeland also said that legislation for several new pandemic supports for Canadians and businesses needs to be passed and an election could jeopardize that.
WATCH / Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on possible election:
Heading into their weekly caucus meeting this morning, NDP MPs said they had not yet decided on a path forward and would talk about how to proceed behind closed doors.
"At the end of the day we have a lot of moving parts and we're still in a pandemic and we're still committed to fighting for Canadians and we're going to continue to do that," said Ontario NDP MP Matthew Green.
"We have to look at what all the variables are going in to this discussion and do what's best for the country."
Asked by reporters if the NDP had an obligation to support the Conservative motion, NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said, "There's many ways to skin a cat, my friends."
O’Toole accuses Trudeau of risking public health with threat of confidence vote
Justin Trudeau's minority Liberal government faces another Conservative motion that could trigger the possibility of a snap election.In a press conference with journalists, O'Toole said the goal of the second motion is to focus a health committee review on rapid testing and the public health response to the crisis -- not to try to force an election.
WATCH / NDP MPs on today's confidence vote:
Conservative House leader Gérard Deltell said the ethical questions surrounding the government require a special committee with a clear mandate. He said it's the "duty" of opposition parties to hold the government to account.
"This is what the issue is all about with this motion, and what we see right now is a prime minister who will do whatever it takes to call an election," he said.
"The only Canadian who would like to have an election today is the prime minister. The only Canadian who would like to freeze the government for a few months is the prime minister by calling an election."
The Conservatives amended the original motion to state that voting to launch the committee should not be considered grounds to order an election.
It also dropped the "anti-corruption committee" label it initially proposed.
Bloc Québécois House leader Alain Therrien said the WE Charity issue is so complex that it requires a special committee to get answers.
He said the Liberals' "scorched-earth" approach to politics is the product of a "club of cronyism" and renders compromise impossible.
He also criticized the NDP, suggesting the party's MPs have obediently followed Liberal demands.
"The NDP have acted in the last little while a little like the Liberals' lap dog," he said.
'Unwelcome drama': Paul
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul issued a statement urging the parties to cool their jets, calling the brinkmanship "unwelcome drama."
"The Liberal and Conservative parties' high-stakes, high-tech game of chicken can have no winner," she said.
"They should leave such games outside of Parliament, and focus on the urgent needs of people in Canada. I ask members of Parliament to dial down the rhetoric, which is not in keeping with the seriousness of this unprecedented moment, so that we can get back to working on the critical matters at hand."
What lessons does John Horgan's big B.C. election victory hold for Justin Trudeau? .
OTTAWA — B.C. Premier John Horgan took a risk by calling an election in the middle of a pandemic, but it paid off handsomely on Saturday as the B.C. NDP secured a majority government and won the most seats in their party’s history. The election also marks the second time this fall that a provincial government has expanded a minority government into a majority, after New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs and his Progressive Conservatives won 27 of 49 ridings. In Saskatchewan, meanwhile, polls show Scott Moe’s government is on track to hold on to their majority government in Monday’s election.