Canada’s Senate Votes In Favour Of Government Budget

Canada's Senate has voted in favour of the federal government’s budget bill, the final step in extending COVID-19 supports through the summer and ahead of a likely election this fall.

Bill C-30 passed the Senate in a vote of 63-to-19. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government, which holds a minority in Parliament, last week pushed the bill through the House of Commons with the help of the opposition New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois.

Canada's first budget in more than two years contained extensions to key pandemic aid programs such as the wage subsidy to help employers pay workers and supports to help businesses pay their rent.

Two other bills - criminalizing LGBT conversion therapy and regulating programming of streaming services such as Netflix - were referred back to committee, likely leaving them to be dealt with after the summer recess of Parliament.

The Senate added two sitting days this week to deal with a raft of bills approved by House lawmakers last week ahead of their summer break.

Prime Minister Trudeau has publicly downplayed election talk, but media reports say he is planning for a September snap election to capitalize on Canada's emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau's Liberals led the main opposition Conservative Party 34% to 30% in a national poll released last week by marketing firm Leger.