Minority government easily survives first of three confidence votes on budget

DM

Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government easily survived Wednesday the first of three confidence votes on the federal budget. A Bloc Quebecois sub-amendment to the main budget motion was defeated by a vote of 297-37. The sub-amendment called on the government to accede to premiers’ demand for a $38-billion hike in annual transfer payments for health care and for a 10 per cent increase in old age security for all seniors, not just those aged 75 and over. There was little suspense over the government’s fate. Earlier in the day, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reiterated his vow to prop up the government through the budget votes in order to avoid plunging the country into an election in the midst of a deadly third wave of COVID-19. Four New Democrats voted for the Bloc sub-amendment to signal the party’s approval in principle, while the rest of the 24-member NDP caucus — including Singh who voted electronically just before receiving his first COVID-19 vaccination — voted against it to ensure the government would not fall. In the end, the NDP’s manoeuvres were not required to save the government.

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