Snap polls averted after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party defeats motion seeking probe into corruption
The possibility of snap elections in Canada was averted for a third time since late September, as the ruling Liberal Party defeated an opposition motion in parliament that had aimed to establish a special committee of the House of Commons to investigate alleged government corruption.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had taken the firm position that such a motion would constitute a vote of confidence, and a loss would precipitate immediate elections.
However, the motion was opposed by 180 MPs - including the Liberal caucus as well as members of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Greens and two Independents - with 146 supporting it, comprising the two largest opposition groupings, the Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois.
It marked the third time the NDP came to the rescue of the Liberal Party, voting along with it on a critical motion.
The motion had been moved to create a 15-member special committee that would probe, among other things, the grant of a nearly billion-dollar contract to a charity with close links to PM Trudeau and his family.
The project given to WE Charity was later cancelled after a controversy erupted when it was revealed that Trudeau’s wife, mother and brother had been paid appearance fees by the organisation.
Pablo Rodriguez, leader of the government in the House, accused the opposition of a gambit that could have led to “paralysing the government in the middle of a pandemic”.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa after the vote, Conservative House leader Gérard Deltell countered, “This is what the issue is all about with this motion, and what we see right now is a prime minister who will do whatever it takes to call an election.”
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, despite voting with the Liberals, levelled the same charge at Trudeau, saying in a statement, “We think the threat to call an election over an opposition motion to set up a committee is ridiculous and out-of-touch with what Canadians are facing. The prime minister always has the power to call an election. It’s clear that he wants an election now to hold onto power, before the pandemic gets worse.”
However, Singh’s party came in for criticism from other opposition members for siding with the ruling party for the third time running, as Bloc Québécois House leader Alain Therrien accused the NDP of acting like “the Liberals’ lap dog”.
A decline in genome sequencing and testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has made it “increasingly difficult” to know where the virus is and how it is mutating, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhenom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday as cases have risen over the last week in four out of six WHO regions. He also expressed concern over the first reported Covid outbreak in North Korea, with more than 1.7 million suspected cases since late April.
New York City, the largest city in the United States, raised its Covid-19 alert level from "medium" to "high" on Tuesday, as infections continue to go up in recent weeks. The guidance requires New Yorkers to wear a face mask in all public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings and consider avoiding higher-risk activities. New York City raised its Covid-19 alert level to "medium" from "low" in early May.
A video of Pakistani actor and TikToker Humaira Asghar has drawn flak on social media as Asghar was shot walking in a silver ball gown in front of a forest fire raging behind her. This in Pakistan has in fact become a trend as earlier this month a man was arrested in Abbottabad for intentionally starting a forest fire for the background of a video.
Ukraine's defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that the ongoing war in his country is entering a protracted phase. In his speech to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg and European Union defence ministers, Reznikov said on Tuesday, "Russia is preparing for a long-term military operation." Reznikov added that Russian forces are currently building fortifications in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to move to defence if necessary.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has commented on the leaked video of a Twitter employee openly admitting that Twitter has no freedom of speech and his colleagues are 'commies as f***' as the video has now gone viral on social media. 'Is this legit?' Elon Musk wrote on the video posted by journalist Benny Johnson. One Siru Murugesan, who identified himself as a senior engineer at Twitter said the atmosphere of Twitter is so Left that employees become Left making adjustments to their opinion.