'We are not going to give the Prime Minister the election he’s looking for': NDP and Greens stave off snap election

Ahmar Khan
·3-min read

A federal election potentially could’ve been called in the next few days, but the New Democratic Party and Green Party of Canada say they will not support a non-confidence vote. The motion was proposed by the governing Liberal Party of Canada after the Conservative Party of Canada wanted to create a special parliamentary committee to investigate the Liberals’ scandals. The Trudeau government insisted that the Conservatives bringing forward a special committee is an issue of non-confidence.

“We’re looking at options, but I want to make Canadians absolutely clear that we are not going to give the Prime Minister the election he’s looking for,” said Singh at a press conference before the vote.

The Liberals hold 154 seats coupled with the NDP’s 24 and the Greens three, it is mathematically improbable to see the motion pass, unless MPs broke away from party intentions.

Instead of supporting the motion, Singh said his party intends to put a motion forward to continue looking into the WE Charity scandal, which saw a number of conflicts of interest involving the Prime Minister and former Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Both Morneau and Trudeau had relatives who were paid by the business arm of the charity, and an ethics investigation is currently underway.

The new Green Party Leader Annamie Paul who is without a seat in the House of Commons said that the focus of this government and all MPs should be on ensuring Canadians have what they need, not on forcing people to the polls during a pandemic.

“Ahead of today’s vote on the Conservative motion to create a special committee, I would like to remind all Members of Parliament that people in Canada are counting on us to keep our eye on the ball and to focus on their needs. Anything else is just unwelcome drama,” wrote Paul in a statement.

Other than the Conservatives who are expected to vote within party lines and support the party’s motion, the Block Québécois seemed inclined to vote with the Conservatives.

“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. “We must absolutely stop this government.

‘...Mr. Trudeau would prefer to try and go to an election’

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

“It’s Mr. Trudeau that is making it a confidence vote because Mr. Trudeau would prefer to try and go to an election rather than (answer) questions about insider spending scandals,” said O’Toole.

Trudeau’s second-in-command, Deputy Premier Chrystia Freeland said her government isn’t necessarily interested in a election either, but the concept of the special parliamentary committee leaves them no choice.

Deputy Premier Chrystia Freeland told reporters earlier that she doesn’t want an election but believes the motion leaves the Liberals with no choice.

“The reality is, we Liberals are a minority in Parliament, we need the confidence of the House to do our job. The motion that was put forward, it is a motion that really drips with no confidence in the government,” said Freeland.

It seems for now that Canadians have avoided a fallen government and will not need to cast federal ballots in the near future.