Ottawa, (Asian independent) Canada’s ruling Liberal Party has reached an agreement with the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) to soon pass a federal government bill to implement new Covid-19 benefits to fill gaps left by an expiring benefit program, thereby avoiding snap elections.
The confirmation of the deal was first announced on Friday by Liberal House Leader Pablo Rodriquez, reports CBC News.
“We are entering the second wave and millions of Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet.
“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,” he said in a series of tweets.
Addressing the media in Parliament Hill later in the day, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh confirmed the agreement, adding that the Liberal government was willing to boost the number of people who can access a proposed sick leave benefit, which was one of the three new measures within Bill C-2.
Bill C-2 is the proposed legislation that would transition people from the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) to an employment insurance program with expanded eligibility, or to one of three new recovery benefits.
“If what we’ve agreed upon is reflected in the bill that’s presented on Monday, if all the same elements are still there, then we will be able to support that bill and yes, we will be able to support the throne speech,” CBC News quoted Singh as saying.
The NDP’s support for the throne speech would give the minority Liberals enough votes to pass it in the House of Commons and avoid a snap election.
The House of Commons of Canada has 338 seats. Out of the 338 seats, the Liberal Party has 154 seats while the NDP has 24 seats.
In the speech, the government had pledged to create one million new jobs, extend the wage subsidy program until next summer, launch the largest jobs training program in the country’s history and begin to build a national child-care program to support working women.
Details of the sick leave changes were yet to be made public, but the NDP leader said it would “will help millions of Canadians”.
However, the Conservative Party of Canada have said that they would not support the throne speech and the Bloc Quebecois said it will not back it unless the federal government boosts health care transfers to the provinces.
Before the confirmation of the agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had hinted that negotiations were on to reach a deal.