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Canada's political consensus over coronavirus aid programs starts to fray

REUTERS/Blair Gable

Canada’s political consensus over help for those hit by the coronavirus outbreak began to fray on Wednesday when a government official complained the opposition was blocking a proposed expansion of benefits.

The move could spell trouble for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, who need the support of other parties to govern. Legislators have so far been united, approving aid programs worth more than C$160 billion ($119 billion) in direct spending, or around 7% of gross domestic product.

But the three opposition parties, citing concerns over how the money is being spent and a push by Trudeau to slash the number of times Parliament meets, are resisting a Liberal appeal to quickly adopt draft legislation boosting the programs.

“The other parties have not agreed to do this and this is very unfortunate,” said Pablo Rodriguez, the minister charged with pushing legislation through the House of Commons.

10 June 2020

News Source Reuters

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