PM chancing snap election over Conservative motion

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The federal government appears willing to go to the polls over the Conservatives proposing the creation of a new parliamentary committee to probe Liberal controversies including the WE Charity affair, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is insisting it’s up to the opposition whether there will be a pandemic election.

“It will be up to parliamentarians and the opposition to decide whether they want to make this minority Parliament work, or whether they’ve lost confidence in this government's ability to manage this pandemic," Trudeau said.

Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez declared Tuesday morning that when the motion to set up the committee that is now being debated in the House of Commons comes up for a vote, the Liberals will consider it a confidence vote.

That means, if it passes with the support of all opposition parties, then the government could fall and Trudeau could trigger a snap election in the middle of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

Early indications are that the Liberals will once again be looking to the NDP to back them, with the Bloc Quebecois stating this is a problem of Trudeau’s making and they’ll support the Conservative motion. Though, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the brinkmanship going on is senseless. 

"The government considers this motion to be a matter of confidence. The truth is simple: MPs cannot establish a new committee with sweeping powers to investigate what they call the government corruption and assume there is no consequence,” Rodriguez said, calling it “nothing more than a dangerous partisan plan” in making the declaration that it’ll be a confidence vote. 

Rodriguez said that the lives of Canadians depend on the federal government focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic, though a general election at this time would mean Parliament would shut down for at least 37 days.

Trudeau, noting that with COVID-19 cases on the rise again in Canada, said that the pandemic is “far from over,” and that “nobody wants elections.”

-- with files from CTV News --