Canadian party’s support for legislation bolsters Trudeau

OTTAWA (AP) — The leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party voiced support Thursday for proposed legislation on higher emergency benefits for workers, a move that could keep Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government in power.

On Wednesday Trudeau’s government presented its priorities for a new session of Parliament in what’s called the Throne Speech.

If the three main opposition parties vote against the speech, which was formally delivered by Governor General Julie Payette, an election would be triggered.

The Conservatives have already said they will vote against the speech while the Bloc Quebecois demanded the Liberals add billions of dollars to annual federal health transfers.

But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he’s pleased the Liberals introduced legislation that would keep the value of benefits for unemployed workers to CDN$500 (US$374.49) a week, instead of lowering payments to CDN$400 ($299.59).

“This is a major win,” Singh told reporters.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is due to expire this week, has paid CDN$500 (US$374.49) a week throughout the pandemic.

The same floor will be placed on employment insurance benefits for those eligible for the program.

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