(Ottawa) New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jagmeet Singh has said he will not call an election as long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Singh says he will keep his promise to back minority Liberal government on confidence votes, even if Liberals did not support NDP bill to implement universal pharmacare program .
The bill did not pass second reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday, with the Liberals, Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois voting against in a vote of 295 to 32.
The government is expected to table a budget in the coming months which, if it does not win the support of a major opposition party, could lead to an election.
“We don’t think it’s the right thing to do, to call an election when we should be fighting the pandemic. We are not going to call an election. So that means a vote of confidence, ”Singh said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“We will vote to keep the government in place. ”
All parties say they are looking to avoid an election as the virus continues to spread across the country. At the same time, all parties are preparing for a possible campaign by examining candidates and stepping up their fundraising efforts.
A 15 billion plan
The New Democrats touted their drug bill – a key part of the NDP campaign platform – before a vote that ended up killing Bill C-213. Private members’ bills, especially those introduced by opposition parties, are rarely passed.
The NDP and the Liberals both promised some sort of drug plan during the 2019 federal election campaign, but they disagree on the details.
Mr. Singh says his party’s plan, presented in a private member’s bill sponsored by MP Peter Julian, resembles the framework suggested by a report commissioned by the government in June 2019.
The $ 15 billion a year program is modeled on the Canada Health Act, which is the legislative framework that gave rise to universal health care.
Trudeau responsible for his destiny
With this NDP commitment not to call an election, the ball is in the court of Justin Trudeau’s government.
“In a way, it forces Trudeau’s hand – that if he really wants an election now, he will have to call them himself. But of course, if Trudeau doesn’t want an election, then he doesn’t need to negotiate very hard to survive, ”argued Karl Bélanger, president of the consulting firm Traxxion Strategies and former senior adviser to the NDP.
“At the end of the day, what Jagmeet Singh does is really hold Justin Trudeau accountable for his destiny when it comes to the election calendar. ”
The bumpy deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine, the havoc in certain industries such as travel and retail, and the complications of holding an election amid a pandemic are all reasons to consider before calling Canadians to the elections. ballot boxes.
“It would certainly be a gamble,” commented Mr. Bélanger of a possible spring election.
“As Prime Minister, you should always think twice before playing with the power you currently have, because you risk losing everything. ”