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Block threatening to pull the plug

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet is threatening  a fall election if the prime minister, his chief of staff and his finance minister don’t resign.

Blanchet said the government is not “worthy” of the public’s trust in the wake of the WE Charity controversy, which was sparked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau failing to recuse themselves from cabinet talks involving the organization despite family ties to it.

While his preference is to see the trio step down, Blanchet said he’s prepared to table a motion of non-confidence in the government if they remain in their jobs.

If that motion passed with the support of other parties, it would lead to an election campaign in the midst of a pandemic. The threat comes as the Conservative Party of Canada is less than two weeks away from choosing a new leader. For a vote of non confidence to pass would require a combined vote of the Conservatives, Bloc and the NDP. A Conservative-Bloc combination would fall short by 3 votes if all members were present to vote.

To be on the safe side, Elections Canada has created an internal working group to do “readiness planning” in the event of an election during the pandemic. The group is looking at issues such as:

Possible physical distancing measures for polling stations and Elections Canada offices.

The capacity of the existing vote-by-mail system.

How to recruit, train and keep election workers safe.

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