Canadian Manufacturing

Conservatives to amend motion on COVID-19 committee to avoid confidence vote [UPDATED]

The stated point of the proposed committee is to take a deep look into three different COVID-19 relief programs

October 20, 2020  The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he’s willing to change the name and mandate of a proposed committee to probe COVID-19 relief programs to make it clear his party doesn’t want to force an election.

The Liberals have said that in pushing for an “anticorruption committee,” the Tories are effectively saying they’ve lost confidence in the government, so the vote on setting it up ought to be one of confidence.

That means if the Tories get the support of the Bloc Quebecois and NDP for the motion, they could topple the government.

O’Toole says the Liberals’ approach is nonsense and Canadians should be concerned if the Liberals would rather send them to the polls than answer what he called a “few simple questions.”

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The stated point of the proposed committee is to take a deep look into three different COVID-19 relief programs, two with connections to longtime Liberals and one with an organization with close links to the party and to the Trudeau family.

But O’Toole says he’s now talking to the NDP and Bloc to see if they can agree on a revised mandate for the committee, as well as a new name, that would erase the possibility of a confidence vote on the motion.

Debate on the motion begins later today, but a vote wouldn’t take place until later this week.