Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a closing press conference on the third and final day of the Liberal cabinet retreat in Ottawa on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. Trudeau will begin consultations today with opposition leaders about next week’s throne speech, which could theoretically bring down his minority Liberal government if no opposition party is willing to support it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Trudeau starts consultations with opposition leaders on next week’s throne speech

Liberals will need the support of at least one of the main opposition parties to avoid losing confidence vote

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will begin consultations today with opposition leaders about next week’s throne speech, which could theoretically bring down his minority Liberal government if no opposition party supports it.

He is to speak by phone with Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, who is in self-isolation along with most of his 31 MPs after an aide tested positive Monday for COVID-19.

Blanchet’s wife has also tested positive.

Trudeau also plans to speak with the Green party’s parliamentary leader, Elizabeth May.

He is expected to speak with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, who is also in isolation after a staffer tested positive, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Friday.

The throne speech is well on its way to being completed but government officials maintain that doesn’t mean the opposition consultations are an empty gesture.

There is still room to make some last-minute additions. Officials point out that opposition parties have been quite vocal about what they want to see in the speech.

Singh has said he expects the speech to be full of nice but “empty” words and he’s more interested in what actually makes it into the subsequent federal economic update and budget.

Still, the NDP has been clear it wants to see billions more in federal funding for child care and affordable housing. It also wants the government to back off its plan to wind down the $2,000-per-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

The Bloc has talked about more funding to help seniors through the pandemic and more health care funding to the provinces, with no strings attached.

The speech is expected to focus on three main areas: further measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and avoid another nation-wide lockdown; to help Canadians stay afloat while the pandemic continues; and longer-term measures to structurally rebuild the ravaged economy.

It’s expected to include promises of more funding for health care, including long-term care homes that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, and child care, so that women can get back to work.

On Wednesday, following a cabinet retreat, Trudeau continued to say the speech will offer an “ambitious” plan for a healthier, safer, fairer, cleaner and more inclusive Canada.

However, with positive cases of COVID-19 on the rise for the past few weeks, Trudeau and his ministers were also clear that their top, almost all-consuming priority is doing everything possible to prevent a second deadly wave of the novel coronavirus.

The throne speech will be put to a confidence vote. The Liberals will need the support of at least one of the main opposition parties to avoid losing that vote, which would trigger an election.

READ MORE: Threat of fall federal election eases as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Justin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

The influenza vaccine will be available at no cost starting Monday in Alberta. “The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Hinshaw urges Albertans to get flu shot as COVID cases jump by 332

Alberta’s central zone now has 132 active COVID-19 cases

learning
Stettler Learning Centre well into new season

“It’s definitely been a year of growth and a year of change.”

Vegetables from Rocyosa Vegetables in Clive. (Facebook photo)
Bashaw Farmers Market grew this year, despite COVID-19

More vendors and market goers than ever

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Executive Director of Agape Kate Halas (left) receives $1000 from Sgt. Eric Christensen (right) on behalf of Agape. Photo/ Shaela Dansereau.
Former Wetaskiwin Peace Officer wins provincial award; gives back to Wetaskiwin community

Eric Christensen has won the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers Award of Excellence.

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Big boost for Alberta college agriculture research

The $2-million agreement to benefit Lethbridge College’s applied research team

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Canadian couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

(The Canadian Perss)
Banff wolves have lower survival rate due to hunting, trapping outside park boundary

Researchers looked at 72 radio-collared wolves in the national park from 1987 to August 2019

Most Read