Conservative House Leader Gerard Deltell arrives at a party caucus meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

The minority Liberal government has reached a deal with the New Democrats over legislation to support workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, likely securing the support needed to remain in power.

“We are entering the second wave and millions of Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet,” government House leader Pablo Rodriguez said Friday on Twitter.

“We now have an agreement with the NDP on a bill that will deliver the help that Canadians need. It’s by working together that we will get through this pandemic.”

The Liberal throne speech introduced Wednesday needs the support of at least one of the major opposition parties for the minority government to survive a confidence vote, or else Canada could head into a federal election as parts of the country are already in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has spelled out the conditions for earning the support of his party: legislation assuring that Canadians left jobless due to the pandemic won’t have their emergency benefits cut and that Canadians who fall ill will get paid sick leave.

The Liberal government introduced legislation Thursday the NDP said it considered a victory on its first demand, by ensuring that jobless Canadians will continue to receive $500 a week, the same benefit provided under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Now, the NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on the sick-leave part too.

“We have convinced the government to work with us and we’ve massively expanded the number of people who can access the sick days,” George Soule, a spokesman for Singh, said Friday.

“This is an important first step toward getting sick days permanently for all workers across the country,” he said.

“We will work together to pass (the bill) as quickly as possible.”

The agreement is on the legislation known as Bill C-2, which is scheduled for two days of debate early next week, but it also likely means the NDP will end up voting with the Liberals on the throne speech.

The Conservatives have already said they will vote against the throne speech and the Bloc Québécois say they are leaning that way unless the Liberals meet demands from the provinces to add billions to annual federal health transfers by next week.

Joan Bryden and Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

federal government

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

Just Posted

A house on Highway 3A caught fire Sunday evening, Oct. 25, 2020.
House fire on Highway 3A in Keremeos

Neighbours acted quickly to help save home

x
Morning Start: Bubble wrap was originally intended to be wallpaper

Your morning start for Monday, Oct. 26, 2020

Game Cave Video Games Amusements has become a haven for Penticton gamers since its Oct. 14, 2020 opening. (Game Cave Video Games & Amusements / Facebook)
Gamers flock to new retro video game shop in Penticton

‘It’s like candy land for gamers,’ said one loyal customer

Public skating will return to McLaren Arena in Penticton Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (Contributed)
Public skating returns to Penticton’s McLaren Arena

New health and safety measures will be in effect

Incumbent B.C. Liberal Dan Ashton watching results come in on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Incumbent Dan Ashton heading towards third term in Penticton

Ashton was first elected to the legislature in 2013

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Lions owner David Braley dead at 79

Braley had bought the CFL team prior to 1997 season

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Hit and run kills dog, severely injures West Kelowna man

The car was abandoned but police could not locate its driver

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak forces closure of Kelowna school

French-language school École de l’Anse-au-sable will remain closed until Nov. 4

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a vehicle that crashed into a Vernon home on 17th Street Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (City of Vernon photo)
Three hurt after Mustang crashes into Vernon home

Vehicle occupants and one resident reported sustaining minor injuries in Sunday incident

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
BREAKING: Police situation unfolding in Lumby

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

NDP Leader John Horgan speaks with the owner of a barber shop while campaigning in Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Campaigning was restricted by the coronavirus pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s B.C. majority came with historically low voter turnout

Barely half of eligible voters cast ballots in snap election

Five British Columbians and an Alberta man are facing charges linked to a 2018 bust of a Lumby clandestine lab. (RCMP)
Six charged in 2018 Lumby drug lab bust

Bust one of province’s biggest, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, two men still loose

Most Read