Opposition parties lay out priorities ahead of Liberal government budget next week

In Liberals' pre-budget consultations, NDP leader Singh is pushing for a federal role in vaccine roll-out and steps toward a national childcare plan, while Conservative leader Erin O'Toole wants minimal taxation to spur job growth.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

OTTAWA — The four opposition parties in Ottawa are making demands of the minority Liberal government ahead of next week’s federal budget, but their leverage is limited.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling for a stronger federal role in on-the-ground COVID-19 vaccine administration as well as concrete steps toward a national child-care plan, which the Liberals have pledged periodically since 1993.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet says he may consider backing the the first budget in more than two years if it boosts support for seniors and no-strings-attached health transfers to the provinces.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, whose party has the second-most seats in Parliament, is stressing job creation and minimal taxation.

Opposition leaders are speaking with Trudeau this week to make their case on the budget.

Since all budgets are confidence votes, if all three main opposition parties vote against it an election would be triggered. However, both Singh and O'Toole have pledged to vote in confidence of the budget, regardless of misgivings, saying a pandemic is not the time for an election.

 

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