Trudeau expected to survive throne speech confidence vote as NDP signifies support

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government is expected to survive a confidence vote tonight on its throne speech, with crucial support from New Democrats.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has said his party will support the speech after winning some key changes to legislation last week setting up new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois have said they’ll vote against the speech and newly minted Green Leader Annamie Paul announced Tuesday that her party’s three MPs will join them.

Read more: COMMENTARY: After vapid throne speech and address, it’s hard to see why prorogation was necessary

Paul said there were some very good things in the Liberals’ agenda-setting speech last month but the Green party won’t support it because it lacks a plan to protect those living in long-term care from COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’m not just speaking of seniors. I’m also speaking of people with special needs and with disabilities,” Paul said Tuesday at a news conference on Parliament Hill.

“Those people are not protected.”

Paul is set to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday.

Click to play video 'Green Party ‘unfortunately’ won’t support the Speech from the Throne' 2:02 Green Party ‘unfortunately’ won’t support the Speech from the Throne

Green Party ‘unfortunately’ won’t support the Speech from the Throne

Another reason the Greens find the throne speech lacking is that it does not promise a guaranteed livable income, which Paul said would make Canadians more resilient against economic shocks.

Paul said she was encouraged to hear many Liberal and NDP MPs talk about guaranteed basic income before the throne speech.

“They call it a guaranteed basic income, we call it livable income, because you need to be able to live on it and live in dignity,” she said. “I had been looking for at least an indication that the government was going to be introducing a pilot program.”

Story continues below advertisement

Paul says she is pleased to see the government has extended emergency pandemic benefits to those who are most in need, but she says the plan still leaves out too many Canadians, including students.

Read more: Throne speech appears poised to pass vote after COVID-19 benefits boost

The new leader said the Liberal government is also failing to demonstrate national and international leadership on climate change and the Green party could not support any plan that does not protect Canadians’ future in this way.

“The climate emergency is as urgent today as it was when the pandemic hit,” she said.

“I will remind the prime minister that we were obliged to increase our Paris targets this year,” she says. “It was a non-negotiable date.”


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

© 2020 The Canadian Press