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NDP won't trigger federal election over proposed anticorruption committee: Singh

FILE - NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh signaled Tuesday his party will not be the one to force Canadians to head to the polls

PM declared the vote on a Conservative motion to create a special committee will be a test of confidence

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said his party is willing to drop "anticorruption'' from the committee name

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh signaled Tuesday his party will not be the one to force Canadians to head to the polls during the second wave of COVID-19, but is not saying how the democrats will vote on a proposed anticorruption committee.

“New Democrats will not give Prime Minister Trudeau the election he is looking for,” Singh told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “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. We are voting against an election. We are going to continue to work for people.”

But he did not specify whether his party would back, oppose, or abstain from voting on a Conservative motion to create a special anticorruption committee, to bring back the WE Charity investigation, and also looking into the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau has declared the vote will be a test of confidence for his minority Liberal government.

Singh says that decision was made “arbitrarily and absurdly” and that the NDP is still looking at the options available.

” Let me be very clear: the only way there is an election right now is because the prime minister chooses to have one. If he wants to, then he should just come out and say, ‘I want an election’ and explain why,” Singh wrote in a tweet the day before.

“It has never been my goal to force an election. It has always been my goal to fight for people. And right now, in the midst of a second wave, with numbers climbing in Ontario in Quebec — the two largest provinces — people need our help. And that’s what we’re focused on doing.”

Singh said the NDP will propose the probe continue in the House ethics committee.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said his party is willing to drop “anticorruption” from the name of their proposed committee, but the intent remains the same.

READ ALSO: How about a federal election? Liberals face confidence vote over proposed anticorruption committee

“And Mr. Trudeau will have to tell Canadians why the entitlement and arrogance of the Liberal Party would put us into an election, rather than just have them answer a few questions that many Canadians have,” he added.

O’Toole said the federal government doesn’t have a plan for the economic relaunch of the country.

“The government does not have a plan for the future, for jobs, for the well being of Canadians, for our seniors in senior homes in Quebec and elsewhere. Canadians deserve better,” he added. “Canadians deserve a government with a plan.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland believes cooler heads will win the day to avoid a snap federal election.

“I’m going to need support from the house to get these new business support measures in place, and emotion that was put forward. You know it is a motion that really drips with no confidence,” she said.

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says her party’s three MPs will vote against a Conservative motion to create a House of Commons committee with a mission to probe Liberal malfeasance.

Paul says the party is voting in what it believes is in the country’s best interest now.