Canada: parliament agrees election should not occur amid COVID-19

“Members of Parliament from all parties agreed that an election should not be called until after the pandemic is over – but that still leaves open the possibility of voters heading to the polls in the fall.

The House voted on a Bloc Québécois motion Tuesday urging the government not to hold an election so long as Canadians are faced with the pandemic. The motion said more than 1.3 million Canadians have been infected with COVID-19 and nearly 25,000 people have died as a result, and so it would be “irresponsible” to hold an election. It was put forward by Bloc MP Alain Therrien. Three hundred and twenty-seven MPs voted in favour, while Independent MP Derek Sloan voted against.

Although MPs agreed an election would not be held during the pandemic, they did not define exactly when it will be over. Public-health officials have suggested a return to normal could happen in September, and that’s when many political observers speculate the governing Liberals will call an election.

When asked whether he would commit to waiting until after the World Health Organization declared the pandemic over, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “nobody wants an election before the end of this pandemic.”

Similarly, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement that his party has said no election should be triggered so long as the pandemic continues. “It would be irresponsible and unsafe for Canadians,” he said.”

Read the full article at The Globe and Mail.

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