Liberals to face first confidence vote in new session with coronavirus benefit bill

The federal Liberals are expected to face their first confidence vote since the House of Commons returned from a controversial prorogation requested by the government amid the WE Charity scandal.

The legislation in question proposes creating three new streams of federal benefits for Canadians ineligible for Employment Insurance as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit wraps up this week.

READ MORE: CERB to EI: What to know about transitioning to the new coronavirus benefits

Liberal House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said in a tweet on Tuesday that because the creation of the benefits is central to the government’s response plan to the second wave of the pandemic, it will be made a confidence vote.

That means the government must garner support for the bill from at least one other party in order to remain in power.

The NDP has already said it plans to support the bill, which would create a sick leave benefit for Canadians along with a benefit for caregivers and those ineligible for Employment Insurance.

READ MORE: COVID-19 aid bill headlines Parliament’s first full week

Both the NDP and Greens joined the Liberals on Tuesday afternoon in voting to limit debate on the bill and move to a rapid vote — a move that triggered fierce criticism from the Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois.

The Tories and the Bloc have pushed back at the government’s desire to cut off debate by arguing that if the matter truly is urgent, the government should not have prorogued Parliament for over a month — time, they said, that could’ve been used for more fulsome debate.

Even with the passage of the motion to limit debate, the coronavirus benefits bill is expected to receive several more hours of debate into Tuesday evening before facing a vote at around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

After that, it will head to the Senate.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Conservative MP says Liberals prorogued government to put themselves in ‘angelic position’ to pass Bill C-2' 2:18 Coronavirus: Conservative MP says Liberals prorogued government to put themselves in ‘angelic position’ to pass Bill C-2

Coronavirus: Conservative MP says Liberals prorogued government to put themselves in ‘angelic position’ to pass Bill C-2

— With files from The Canadian Press.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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