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Trudeau reaches deal with opposition party, election averted

One of Canada’s main opposition parties reached a deal with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government that allows for Trudeau’s minority Liberal government to stay in power, officials said Friday.

Liberal Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez said the Liberals had come to an agreement with the leftist New Democratic Party over its demands for supporting the Throne Speech, in which the government laid out its priorities Wednesday.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh confirmed that his party would support the speech.

An election would have been forced if the NDP had joined the other two main opposition parties in voting against the speech. Trudeau won reelection last year, but his Liberal party does not have a majority of seats in Parliament and must rely on at least one opposition party to stay in power.

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

The NDP wanted enhanced emergency benefits for works.

Trudeau said Wednesday his government will do “whatever it takes” to support Canadians and the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.