Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

The Liberals have declared an upcoming vote on a motion to set up a special COVID-19 committee a confidence matter.

That means if the Tory-backed proposal garners the support of the NDP and Bloc Québécois, it will topple the government.

The explicit declaration by Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez came minutes after Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said he’s open to changing the name and mandate of the committee to avoid that possibility.

The Tories were originally proposing an “anticorruption” committee that would focus nearly exclusively on three different COVID-19 relief programs having links to individuals or organizations with close ties to the Liberals.

The Liberals argued that approach effectively meant the House of Commons has lost confidence in the government, but the Tories said what they were trying to do was hold the Liberals accountable.

O’Toole said earlier today that’s still the goal, but he doesn’t want an election and is working with the NDP and Bloc to find a compromise.

Debate on the motion begins later today, but a vote wouldn’t take place until later this week.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

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