Federal Election Averted As Liberals, NDP Defeat Contentious Conservative Motion

Althia Raj
·2-min read
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh are shown in a composite image of photos from The Canadian Press.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh are shown in a composite image of photos from The Canadian Press.

OTTAWA — There will be no snap election call — at least not yet — after a contentious Conservative motion that the Liberal government declared a confidence test was defeated in the House of Commons Wednesday.

Members of Parliament voted 180 to 146 against an opposition bid to create a new committee to scrutinize the WE Charity controversy and the government’s handling of pandemic-related spending.

At a press conference roughly two hours before the crucial vote, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh signalled his party wouldn’t support the Tory motion, but would not say if his party might abstain from the vote altogether.

In the end, his MPs voted to quash the Tory motion and ensured the minority Liberal government would survive another confidence vote, weeks after the NDP supported its throne speech.

Watch: Singh calls Liberal election gambit ‘ludicrous’

Three Green MPs and two Independent MPs, including former Liberal minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, also voted to reject the Conservative gambit.

Canadians are looking for help right now, Singh told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “They are not looking for an election.”

“New Democrats will not give Prime Minister Trudeau the election he is looking for. We’re not going to be used as an excuse or a cover,” he added.

The motion introduced by Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole proposed the creation of a new House of Commons committee to study the WE Charity controversy; alleged lobbying by the husband of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford; and contracts awarded to firms with Liberal ties, as well as other “potential scandals” related to the COVID-19 pandemic spending.

O’Toole told reporters earlier this week that new details that continue to emerge “paint a concerning picture of potential corruption at very high levels of the government.”

O’Toole said he did not want an election, but he also said he had no confidence in the Liberal government.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole speaks to members of the National Caucus in Ottawa on Sept. 9, 2020.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole speaks to members of the National Caucus in Ottawa on Sept. 9, 2020.

Bloc Québécois MPs voted...

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