Justin Trudeau’s liberal minority government has easily survived its first confidence test of the new parliamentary session with the help of the Bloc Québécois and the NDP.
A conservative amendment to last month’s throne speech was defeated by a 215-117 vote.
Had the amendment passed, it would have been considered a government defeat and could have triggered another election, less than three months after the last election gave Trudeau a second consecutive minority.
There was little suspense over the Monday night vote; The bloc’s leader, Yves-François Blanchet, had signaled immediately after the throne speech that his party would support what he called “24 pages of completely empty words.”
The short speech basically recapitulated the electoral promises of the Liberals to end the fight against COVID-19 and rebuild a more resilient, greener and inclusive economy.
While NDP leader Jagmeet Singh criticized the throne speech, the new Democrats were unable to support the proposed conservative amendment, which criticized the government for failing to “adequately address critical issues that threaten the prosperity of Canadians.”
The conservative amendment specified that those issues include inflation, a “stagnant” economy, a housing affordability crisis, an “acute” labor shortage and a “crisis of national unity.”
The House of Commons has yet to decide whether to accept the throne speech as written, which will be another vote of confidence.
This Canadian Press report was first published on December 13, 2021.