It’s been a busy few weeks for the prime minister. After a fall election in Canada was almost possible, it seems Justin Trudeau’s government is safe again for the time being.
When Trudeau prorogued Parliament back in August, he was always going to be risking a federal election in the fall.
To ensure Canadians wouldn’t be heading to the polls this year, the PM needed the backing of at least one other political party.
However, after coming to an agreement with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Trudeau was able to avoid an election in the coming months.
That said, this doesn’t mean his party can totally relax.
In fact, a vote of no confidence can be triggered at any time.
Why was another election possible in Canada?
In August, Justin Trudeau decided to suspend Parliament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This meant he’d be required to deliver a throne speech upon their return, outlining his party’s plans and priorities going forward.
As the current government is a minority, this throne speech required the backing of at least one other party.
If the PM couldn’t secure this support, he’d face a no-confidence vote, which could then trigger a snap election.
This, in turn, would require Canadians to return to the polls before the end of fall.
How was it prevented?
Well, initially Trudeau’s throne speech disappointed the other federal leaders.
From the outset, the Conservatives made it clear that they wouldn’t be supporting the PM.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said the statement failed to address his key concerns — CERB and paid sick leave.
However, in the days following the speech, Singh and Trudeau reached an agreement which included proposed legislation for paid sick leave and an update to EI benefits.
On Tuesday, the House of Commons ended up unanimously passing this legislation.
This meant the official end to the CERB and the end to fall election concerns, as well.
When is the next election in Canada?
While Trudeau has avoided another election in the near future, this doesn’t mean he can totally relax.
A confidence vote can be called at any time in the House of Commons. If this happens, the PM must again try to gain the support of a majority of MPs.
If they fail, the prime minister is required to resign or dissolve Parliament and request another election.
The Governor-General would then make the final call, and will decide whether a new election is necessary or whether a coalition of other parties would be preferable.
However, there is nothing to suggest this is on the horizon for now.
Otherwise, the next federal election in Canada is scheduled for October 2023.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative puposes only.