Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez says he plans to use “every parliamentary tool” at his disposal to push three bills through before Parliament rises for the summer on June 23 – and before a potential fall election.
Mr. Rodriguez made the announcement at a news conference Thursday morning. He said the Opposition has been delaying progress on the pieces of “important legislation” and that the government wants to see the bills passed during the next 10 days of parliamentary work.
“There is one party in the House that is standing in the way of progress,” he said, naming the Conservatives. “They’re obstructing the work of the House of Commons.”
Mr. Rodriquez said the bills are the government’s top priorities: Bill C-6, which adds conversion therapy to the Criminal Code; Bill C-10, which amends the Broadcasting Act; and Bill C-12, which would set national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He added that the government’s budget bill also must be passed.
When asked by reporters if this sets the government up for an election in the coming months, Mr. Rodriguez said the Liberals do not want to go to the polls.
“We don’t want elections, but we don’t control everything,” he said, adding that the opposition parties could decide to trigger an election.
Canada has had a minority government since October, 2019. The government could call an election itself or could fall on a vote of non-confidence.
Election rumours have been swirling for months. A fall trip to the polls would coincide with most Canadians being vaccinated and the country beginning to recover from the pandemic, timing that is likely to benefit the Liberals in an attempt to win a majority of seats.
Earlier this month, the Liberals triggered an “electoral urgency” rule for nominations, which lets the party speed up the pace of candidate nominations.
A Nanos Research survey conducted this spring found that 44 per cent of voters were supportive or somewhat supportive of a federal election this fall. However, 49 per cent of voters were opposed or somewhat opposed to the idea, and 8 per cent were unsure.
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