Confidence vote on throne speech unlikely until New Year: Rodriguez
OTTAWA -- The confidence vote in response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority government’s throne speech “probably” won’t happen until 2020.
In an interview on CTV’s Question Period with Evan Solomon, Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said that the vote likely won’t happen until the New Year, citing the Liberal's ability to schedule up to six days to debate the speech.
The government doesn’t need to take all six days, nor do the dates need to be consecutive, but there are four days scheduled in the week ahead for this conversation to continue: Monday, and then Wednesday through Friday.
“You have many days of debate… unless people decide we’re not debating anymore. If not, it could go to the next year,” Rodriguez said. He added that the amendments that are being proposed by the opposition parties could come to a vote before Parliament takes six weeks off over the Christmas holidays.
“We’ll see how it goes, we’ll play it by ear next week, see how many days we need to debate it,” he said.
Even though the vote may not come for some time, there’s little suspense left around whether or not the Liberals will be able to secure the support they need to pass it.
Reacting to the throne speech on Thursday, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said that while he was not in favour of everything discussed in the speech, there was something on offer for every party and enough for Quebec within it to lead his caucus to support it.
This means that the Liberals won’t have an outright need to bring the other parties onside, even though they’ve stated their intention to work cooperatively given their new minority status. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh have already said they aren’t going to back the throne speech without changes or more details given to the broad strokes commitments it included.
In a prior interview with CTVNews.ca, Rodriguez said it’s his intention to take a “traditional” approach to confidence votes in the new Parliament, where given the minority dynamics, “any day can be the last day.”
That means any votes on money matters such as the federal budget and various votes on the main and supplementary spending estimates are expected to be considered confidence votes.
“Things that require funding… It's definitely a confidence vote,” he said.
The first confidence vote of the session is scheduled to happen early next week, likely Tuesday, after the House considers the supplementary estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.
Then, should the government advance its first item of government business put on notice—stating the Liberals’ intention to follow through on a middle-class tax cut— before the end of next week, that would give the government two times to demonstrate their ability to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons before 2020.