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

Larry
Reeve Larry Clarke reappointed for another one-year term, leading into elections in 2021

Clarke was acclaimed during council’s recent organizational meeting held Oct. 21st

Ember
Stettler’s own Ember Graphics takes Board of Trade 2020 Business Service Award

The 2020 Business and Citizenship Awards Gala was held Oct. 22nd

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Sharon Hickin, general manager of the Days Inn Sylvan Lake and the new Lake House Diner, poses for a photo outside the new restaurant. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
Pandemic puts extra hurdles in place for new Sylvan Lake businesses

Over the past seven months numerous new businesses have opened in Sylvan Lake, despite the pandemic

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Rachel Notley, leader of Alberta’s official Opposition, speaks in Edmonton on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Notley says the government needs to sharply ramp up the number of contact tracers if it wants to get a handle on the rising number of COVID-19 cases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Opposition calls for more COVID-19 contact tracers as case numbers rise

Alberta has about 800 tracers, and chief medical health officer Dr. Hinshaw says more are being recruited

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. Hospital and health-care workers who staged a one-day illegal walkout returned to work Tuesday while politicians swapped recriminations and accusations in the house over the dispute. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta health staff return to work, surgeries resume after one-day walkout

AHS estimated 157 non-emergency surgeries, most of them in Edmonton, had to be postponed as a result of the walkout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Most Read