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

Up to 15 centimetres of snow is forecasted in the Okanagan Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (File photo)
With snow expected, Penticton reminds locals of road clearing procedures

It can take the city up to 48 hours to clear some locations

Neil Fassina will become the new president of Okanagan College on April 1, 2021. (Contributed)
Okanagan College recruits new president

Current Athabasca University president Neil Fassina to replace Jim Hamilton on April 1, 2021

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

Cheryl McCafferty hands a driver their breakfast during the United Way’s 2020 Drive Thru Breakfast. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
United Way Drive Thru raises $20K so far

Donations still coming in for the local charity

Brian Shiosaki helps his neighbours by shoveling the sidewalk near his home in Rutland during a large snowfall in Kelowna Tuesday. (Carli Berry/Capital News)
Special weather statement in effect for Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan could see up to 15 centimeters of snow on Friday

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. Government photo)
Kelowna Francophone school COVID-19 outbreak climbs to 5, mixture of students and staff

Health officer says situation evolving, spoke to possible closure, changes to provincial guidelines

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels Corb Lund’s Vernon, Penticton, Trail, Cranbrook concerts

The Contenders, Colin James and Lund postponed until 2021

RCMP detachments across B.C. are now flying Pride flags. (Submitted photo)
Man who spent 4 days injured on floor rescued by Kamloops Mountie

The man is recovering in hospital after being rescued by a police officer conducting a well-being check

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

A fundraiser for the Falkland Community Church is underway. (Photo submitted)
COVID-19 leaves Falkland Church in a lurch

Annual event/major fundraiser cancelled for first time in 34 years

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Five people with alleged ties to the Red Scorpion Gang are facing numerous charges. (Kelowna RCMP)
5 men linked to Red Scorpion gang charged with gun, drug offences in Kelowna

Police seized a machine gun as well as 5.5 kilograms of fentanyl and carfentanil

Most Read