Relief for Justin Trudeau as Canada avoids snap election
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government avoided being toppled in a confidence vote Wednesday after a majority of Parliament members voted against a Conservative motion to create a special anti-corruption committee
The Liberal government had declared the motion to be a matter of confidence. Trudeau’s Liberal party won re-election last year but does not have a majority of seats in Parliament and must rely on at least one opposition party to remain in power. The leftist New Democrat party and Green parties voted with the government to avoid an election.
“It was about paralyzing the government in the middle of a pandemic,” Liberal House leader Pablo Rodriguez said of the attempt to create the committee. Rodriguez had said the motion would allow the opposition to pull Cabinet ministers from their work and require them to testify “day after day.”
New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh in announcing that his party would vote with the government said the party wants to focus on what Canada needs during the pandemic.
The opposition Conservatives, the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois have argued that the Liberals are avoiding scrutiny of contracts and programs set up to deal with the pandemic. The Liberals temporarily closed Parliament in August, which shut down the work of existing committees probing the We Charity deal.
Trudeau has said he should have recused himself from a Cabinet decision to award a contract to We Charity to administer money to students having trouble finding work due to the pandemic. The almost billion-dollar program came under scrutiny after it was revealed that We Charity, an organization Trudeau’s family has worked for, was chosen to administer it. Trudeau’s wife, brother and mother have been paid a combined $300,000 Canadian (US$221,000) for speaking at a number of We Charity events.
The Conservatives have said the committee could explore the We Charity deal.
Robert Bothwell, a professor at the University of Toronto, expects an election in the spring, but said it also depends on how the pandemic is going.
“Trudeau isn’t that really popular,” Bothwell said. “The bloom is off the rose.”
Bothwell said weak opposition keeps him in place.
On the first anniversary of the death of Father Stan Swamy, the Jesuit priest accused in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case who died in custody, a United States (US) Congressman has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives commemorating Swamy's life and demanding that the Government of India set up an independent investigation into his “arrest, incarceration and death”. India has, in the past, rejected international criticism around Swamy's arrest.
Amid a string of resignations, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday told a parliamentary committee that he was not going to resign, and that an election is 'the last thing the country needs'. Senior ministers of Johnson's government were reportedly geared up to ask Johnson to quit as prime minister, British media said, over the latest developments. Were Johnson to go, the process to replace him may take a couple of months.
China on Wednesday said it hopes India would conduct investigations into the Chinese smartphone company Vivo according to law and provide a “fair” and “non-discriminatory” business environment for Chinese firms. China is closely following developments related to the raids on the offices of Vivo in India, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said on Wednesday when asked about the case.
A Brazilian model who had joined the Ukrainian army and trained as a sniper to help fight against invading Russian forces has been killed in combat, according to media reports. Thalita also took part in humanitarian missions and fought the Islamic State in Iraq, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Ex-Brazilian soldier Douglas Burigo, 40, who returned to find Thalita was the only soldier left after the first strike took place, British publication Daily Mail claimed.
China's capital Beijing will introduce a vaccine mandate for certain public venues from July 11, the first in the country, as millions in China face new curbs and the country tackles fresh Covid-19 clusters including a karaoke lounge-related outbreak in Shanghai and a spreading one in the tourist city of Xian. Restaurants and public transport are exempt. Those who have health problems and cannot be vaccinated are exempt from the mandate.