Trudeau gov't survives parliamentary confidence vote

2020-10-21 23:35:28 GMT2020-10-22 07:35:28(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

OTTAWA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government survived a confidence vote Wednesday afternoon on an opposition Conservative Party motion to create a parliamentary committee to probe the government's ethics and COVID-19 pandemic spending.

The final vote result was 146 for and 180 against in the House of Commons as Trudeau's Liberal Party who governs without coalition partners got help from the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Green Party.

Over the past days, the Conservatives pushed to set up an anti-corruption committee to scrutinize government spending, lobbying and the delivery of federal aid programs, while the Liberals proposed establishing a special committee with a narrower mandate to review federal COVID-19 program spending.

Trudeau said on Tuesday that Canadians will go to the polls if his government loses a confidence vote on the Conservative motion.

On Wednesday morning, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said that his party would not give Trudeau an "excuse" to send Canadians to the polls in the middle of a global pandemic. "We are voting for Canadians. We are voting against an election."

Singh said his NDP will still work to get answers on the WE Charity scandal through the Commons ethics committee, and that his party will push the government for more pandemic support for Canadians.

"People need help right now. They need confidence in the future. They're not looking for an election," he said.

Before the vote, the Bloc Quebecois said it would support the Conservative motion while the Green Party indicated that its three MPs would vote against the motion.

In a news conference before the vote, Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole said if the motion doesn't pass, he would continue to work with other parties to hold the government to account. He criticized Trudeau for framing the vote as a confidence matter.

"His designation of this vote as a confidence vote shows that he's willing to put the electoral fortunes of the Liberal Party ahead of the health, safety and well-being of Canadians," O'Toole said.