Conservative House Leader Gerard Deltell arrives at a party caucus meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative House Leader Gerard Deltell arrives at a party caucus meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

The minority Liberal government has reached a deal with the New Democrats over legislation to support workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, likely securing the support needed to remain in power.

“We are entering the second wave and millions of Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet,” government House leader Pablo Rodriguez said Friday on Twitter.

“We now have an agreement with the NDP on a bill that will deliver the help that Canadians need. It’s by working together that we will get through this pandemic.”

The Liberal throne speech introduced Wednesday needs the support of at least one of the major opposition parties for the minority government to survive a confidence vote, or else Canada could head into a federal election as parts of the country are already in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has spelled out the conditions for earning the support of his party: legislation assuring that Canadians left jobless due to the pandemic won’t have their emergency benefits cut and that Canadians who fall ill will get paid sick leave.

The Liberal government introduced legislation Thursday the NDP said it considered a victory on its first demand, by ensuring that jobless Canadians will continue to receive $500 a week, the same benefit provided under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Now, the NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on the sick-leave part too.

“We have convinced the government to work with us and we’ve massively expanded the number of people who can access the sick days,” George Soule, a spokesman for Singh, said Friday.

“This is an important first step toward getting sick days permanently for all workers across the country,” he said.

“We will work together to pass (the bill) as quickly as possible.”

The agreement is on the legislation known as Bill C-2, which is scheduled for two days of debate early next week, but it also likely means the NDP will end up voting with the Liberals on the throne speech.

The Conservatives have already said they will vote against the throne speech and the Bloc Québécois say they are leaning that way unless the Liberals meet demands from the provinces to add billions to annual federal health transfers by next week.

Joan Bryden and Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

federal government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students with Seaquam Secondary’s Delta Youth Advisory Council are collecting non-perishable food donations Feb. 1 to March 5 to help feed local families in need over spring break. (Delta School District/submitted photo)
Seaquam Secondary food drive to help feed 15 North Delta families

Donations can be dropped week days between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Monday, March 8

A semi-truck hauling lumber through Tilbury did not have its load adequately secured, which Delta police believe resulted in the cargo almost falling off the trailer. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police find issues with nearly half of trucks inspected in January

Load safety, brakes, driver records the focus of DPD’s dedicated Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit

Photo posted to facebook.com/HoratioAlgerCA.
Eight Surrey students among 170 Horatio Alger scholarship winners in Canada

‘Need-based scholarships’ given to high school students

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

File photo
Surrey council members give themselves a raise in secret meeting

A redacted report was subsequently posted to the city’s website

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read