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Liberals throw down challenge, make COVID-19 aid bill a confidence matter

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez says proposed legislation for new COVID-19 aid programs will be a matter of confidence in the minority Liberal government.

The move appears to dare the opposition parties to bring the government down as the pandemic surges across the country.

The risk of that happening is low, given NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has already said his party will vote for the bill because the Liberals agreed to increase benefit payments and expand eligibility for paid sick leave.

The Liberals and NDP together have a majority of seats in the House of Commons.

A motion to limit debate on the revamped bill is set to come to a vote in Parliament today.

If it passes, the confidence vote would likely come before the end of the day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press