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Federal bill could trigger confidence vote as opposition critical of economic statement

Last Updated Dec 1, 2020 at 10:39 am PST

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

Trudeau government could face confidence vote in weeks ahead as it tries to implement measures from economic statement

Official notice of the bill to implement certain measures of the update was given Monday night

Federal opposition parties have been critical of the plan laid out in the fall economic update

OTTAWA – The Trudeau government may soon face a confidence test on its COVID-19 recovery plan, as it tries to implement some of the measures in its fall economic statement.

The official notice of the bill to implement certain measures of the update was given Monday night, which means legislation can be tabled as early as this week

However, if the federal government wants it passed before the holiday break, the clock is ticking, with the House of Commons set to rise on Dec. 11 for six weeks.

Unlike budgets, the economic statement does not receive automatic votes. If there are new measures, like with this fiscal update, legislation is often required.

So far, every opposition party has been critical of the plan before them, which offers $25 billion in spending to help get Canadians and businesses through the winter.

The Conservative Party continues to press for more details about the government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.

“Without a plan for vaccines, there can be no long-term plan for our economy,” Leader Erin O’Toole said.

However, in an interview with the CBC Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau countered that claim.

“We have the best range of potential vaccines, and we actually, because we acted early, secured more doses per Canadian, potentially, than any other country,” he said.

Later at his regular COVID-19 briefing, the prime minister said he doesn’t think other parties will want to send the country to vote during a pandemic.

“I am reasonably confident that none of the opposition parties want an election right now, we certainly don’t want one,” he said. “I am reasonably confident that none of the opposition parties want an election right now, we certainly don’t want one.”

The NDP has been the only party so far signalling that it’s willing to negotiate with the Liberals for support.

If the Liberals fail a confidence test, the minority government could fall and launch Canada into an election.