Possible Confidence Vote looming tomorrow

Prime Minister Trudeau is essentially daring opposition parties, particularly Opposition Leader Erin O’toole to defeat it in the house over a Conservative motion to set up a special committee to investigate the WE scandal. Trudeau says if the opposition goes ahead with the committee it means they have lost confidence in the Government and an election would have to be called. For his part, O’Toole says the committee need not trigger a confidence vote.

“We will be amending our motion to make clear that the appointment of a special committee on allegations of misuse of public funds by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada shall not constitute legitimate grounds for calling a general election.

“While Canadians were worried about their future in the pandemic, the Liberals were worried about their friends. This committee is needed now more than ever for parliamentary accountability.

“To ensure the work needed to get the answers Canadians deserve does not interfere with the regular important work of the House’s network of committees, a special committee with a dedicated mandate needs to be established.

The Conservatives issued a release laying out the parameters of the proposed committee:

The committee will examine and review:

• the Canada Student Service Grant; the relationships between WE Charity and the

Liberal government and their families;

• the lobbying efforts for amendments to the Income Tax Act, in respect of the Canada

Emergency Wage Subsidy program;

• the acquisition, purchase and approval of Baylis Medical Company ventilators; and

• topics other House committees identify related to the Liberal government’s COVID-19

response.

The committee’s initial work will be supported by the disclosure of the documents ordered by the House in bullet (e)(xx) – which the Liberal government has not provided.

Important to note:

• The committee will have 15 members – four more than the size of other committees -given the importance and timeliness of their mandate.

• The committee will be chaired by a member of the Official Opposition, the first vice-chair will be from the Bloc Québécois, the second vice-chair will be from the New Democratic Party, and the third vice-chair will be from the government party.

• The first meeting of the committee would be no later than October 26.

• The committee can call emergency meetings, just like any regular House committee.

• The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth can be ordered to appear as witnesses.

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