ANALYSIS: How a looming vote on Katie Telford may test the Liberal-NDP deal – National

The Conservative Party, led by Pierre Polivre, is due to vote in the House of Commons next week, strengthening a deal between NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help the Liberal minority government on classified matters. may be tested.

The Conservative Party uses a day known as Opposition Day within Parliament to debate and vote. Motion to testify Katie Telford, Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff in the House Committee on the Issue of Foreign Election Interference.

Debate will take place on Monday, with a likely vote on Tuesday.

All three opposition parties believe Telford has material information about when the prime minister was briefed about alleged election interference in the 2019 and 2021 general elections. Both Global News and The Globe and Mail report on these allegations, citing unnamed national security sources.

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According to those sources, China’s Communist government was actively trying to influence or interfere in the election.

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However, there is no evidence that the results of either the 2019 or 2021 elections were altered by alleged election interference, and there is no evidence that any outcome should be considered unfair.

Nevertheless, the Conservative Party, Bloc Québécois and the NDP have all called for an independent public inquiry to assess the allegations.

The prime minister has so far not agreed to convene an inquiry, but this week Prime Minister Trudeau appointed former governor-general David Johnston as special rapporteur, specifically advising him on whether a public inquiry should be held.

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Meanwhile, two different committees in the House—the House Committee on Procedure and Matters (PROC) and the Committee on Access to Information, Ethics, and Privacy (ETHI)—both conducted their own investigations into the issue of election interference. I’m in the middle of it. .

A motion for Telford’s testimony was presented to both committees.

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At the PROC, liberal lawmakers are approaching a 24-hour filibuster to block a vote to testify in Telford. As in the House, the Liberals have a minority vote in House committees.

Conservatives believe liberals will attempt similar stalling tactics with ETHI when the time comes to vote on Telford’s testimony.

But the party’s opposition movement in the House is inevitable.

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The Conservatives believed that the BQ and NDP would support the Opposition Day motion, and if other parties did indeed support the Conservatives’ motion, Trudeau would either comply with the House of Commons’ desire to have Telford testify, or Forced to ignore votes. Ignoring the explicit demands of the House vote could pose additional political dangers to minority governments, including the possibility of insult lawsuits being initiated against the government.

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But Prime Minister Trudeau was able to designate the vote on the Conservative Opposition Day motion as a confidential matter.

This spotlights the strength of the NDP-Liberal Party Agreement, in which the NDP promised to vote with the government on any classified matter until June 2025, as long as the NDP supports ending the deal, including meeting with the NDP. will be guessed. We need to provide universal dental care, universal pharmaceutical care, improved housing and other issues.

of supply confidence agreementsaid nothing about the so-called investigation into foreign election interference.

If Trudeau designated Telford’s motion as classified, the NDP’s interests would have to side with the government and decide whether to reject the motion to testify against Telford or risk overthrowing the government. increase.

By parliamentary tradition, a government that loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons is expected to seek a general election.

David Akin is Global News’ Chief Political Correspondent.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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