National

Canada avoids immediate election as ruling Liberal Party reaches agreement with NDP

Sep 26, 2020

Ottawa (Canada), September 26: Canadian ruling Liberal Party has reached an agreement with the New Democratic Party (NDP) to pass the Liberal government's tabled bill to implement a trio of new COVID-19 benefits to fill gaps left by an expiring benefit program.
The agreement paved the way for the NDP confirming it will prop up the minority Liberal government to avoid an immediate fall election.
The NDP's support for the throne speech (government speech) by Canadian Governor General Julie Payette on Wednesday would give the minority Liberal government enough votes to pass it in the House of Commons of Canada and avoid a snap election.
The House of Commons of Canada has 338 seats. Out of the 338 seats, the Liberal Party has 154 seats while the NDP has 24 seats.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh told a press conference that the agreement involves a change to the wording in Bill C-2 - the proposed legislation that would transition people from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to an employment insurance program with expanded eligibility, or to one of three new recovery benefits -to expand the number of Canadians who would be able to access paid sick leave.
"If what we've agreed upon is reflected in the bill that's presented on Monday, if all the same elements are still there, then we will be able to support that bill and yes, we will be able to support the throne speech," said Singh during a news conference.
In the speech, the Trudeau government pledged to create one million new jobs, extend the wage subsidy program until next summer, launch the largest jobs training program in the country's history and begin to build a national child-care program to support working women.
The details of the sick leave changes haven't been released yet, but Singh said the change "will help millions of Canadians."
"Today marks the first step in achieving the first-ever, in the history of our country, federal paid sick leave for Canadian workers," he said.
"It's the first step toward our ultimate goal of ensuring all Canadian workers have paid sick leave now and forever."
Liberal House Leader Pablo Rodriguez tweeted Friday afternoon that a deal has been reached, but didn't offer any more details about the sick leave changes.
"We are entering the second wave and millions of Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet. We now have an agreement with the NDP on a bill that will deliver the help that Canadians need. It's by working together that we will get through this pandemic," he said.
Just after the agreement was announced, Canada's official opposition Conservative Party said they won't support the throne speech, while the Bloc Quebecois said it won't support it unless the Trudeau government boosts health care transfers to the provinces with no strings attached.
Source: Xinhua News Agency