Local MP Elizabeth May does not think a federal election is imminent.
“While we could be in a federal election in the fall, I doubt it,” said May in her latest riding newsletter. She made that prediction after Prime Minister Trudeau had prorogued Parliament until Sept. 23. The move — which suspends all parliamentary activity for more than five weeks, including parliamentary investigations into the WE Charity scandal plaguing his minority Liberal government — means it will face a confidence vote in the fall.
But May writes that “[more] than likely the NDP will prop up” the Liberals. “The Conservatives will emote loudly, while quietly breathing a sigh of relief” because their new leader “will not want to be in an election so soon.”
The prorogation followed the resignation of Bill Morneau from the post of finance minister. Morneau, by way of background, has been at the centre of the WE Charity.
May said the immediacy of the prorogation “distressed” her. “It has the effect of stopping all work by parliamentary committees,” she said. “While I worked with the [finance] committee on the WE charity scandal (which is, of course, the real reason Morneau stepped down), I was far more interested in the good work we were doing on the fisheries committee on the future of Pacific salmon.”
Last week’s prorogation has once again raised questions about the legality and legitimacy of the procedure, with critics accusing Trudeau of hypocrisy against the backdrop of his statements during the Coalition Crisis of 2008 when then former prime minister Stephen Harper prorogued parliament, a move that many say sought to avoid a pending confidence vote that would have likely led to the loss of power.
May, for her part, does not question the legitimacy of Trudeau’s move.
“This prorogation is not anything like the 2008 prorogation when Harper shuttered parliament to avoid a confidence vote he knew he would lose – blocking a waiting coalition government,” she said. “This prorogation actually creates a confidence vote which Trudeau may lose.”
May said the procedure is legitimate when the government has completed its agenda or when events have overtaken that agenda as it has been case. ” The December 5, 2019 Speech from the Throne seems a lifetime ago,” she said. “Pre-pandemic. Pre-ballooning deficits. Pre-the world turning upside down. I can accept the legitimacy of a re-set.”
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