Opposition accuses Liberals of preparing for election with 3-month supply bill

Newfoundland and Labrador ‘s finance minister insists a three-month interim supply bill is just standard practice before a budget is released, but the Progressive Conservatives say something else is afoot.

PC finance critic Tony Wakeham suggested the Liberals intend to go to the polls this fall, drawing a harsh rebuttal from Finance Minister Siobhán Coady during question period on Tuesday.

Coady said it’s PC Leader Ches Crosbie who has publicly pondered shooting down the budget and triggering an election.

“We are in a minority government,” she said. “If the member opposite is musing about that, we have to be prepared.”

Coady insisted three months is a normal amount of time to secure funding before a budget can be passed. Once a budget is passed, the interim supply bill ceases.

Tory finance critic Tony Wakeham says the House of Assembly could pass a budget in October without needing a three-month interim supply bill. File photo. (Peter Cowan/CBC)

Wakeham argued it could be passed much sooner, and cited the last four years of budgets being passed in 24 or fewer legislative days.

Coady laughed off his numbers, saying “two can play that game,” and pointed out that while it took 24 legislative days or less to pass each budget, that actually amounted to as much as 57 calendar days.

“I completely concur that the people of the province do not want an election,” Coady said. “But when the opposition plays politics, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are worried about COVID, they’re worried about their jobs, they’re worried about their future, and [the PCs] are playing politics.”

Coady says opposition to bill will risk services

Debate began Tuesday over whether to pass the interim supply bill. The Liberals will need support from at least one member of the PCs or NDP.

It remains unclear which way the opposition parties will vote.

The province is getting by on a six-month interim supply bill signed in the early days of the pandemic. That expires at the end of this month, leaving the province without authorization to spend any money.

Coady said the opposition will be threatening essential services if they shut down the new bill.

“They would be impacting health care. They would be impacting teachers. They would be impacting seniors getting their pharmaceuticals. They would impacting the health, safety and services of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Opposition accuses Liberals of preparing for election with 3-month supply bill

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/interim-supply-hoa-sept-15-1.5724870?cmp=rss
Aggregated from: CBC | Newfoundland and Labrador News

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