If they do not, he vows to try to force an election this fall.
Blanchet’s remarks on Wednesday came as the House of Commons is set to return for one of its four scheduled summer sittings amid the coronavirus pandemic, which also comes as the government is engulfed in controversy over the WE Charity scandal.
It also comes amid questions being raised about a rent relief contract that an arms-length Crown corporation awarded to a company that employs the husband of Katie Telford, Trudeau’s chief of staff.
Blanchet told reporters Trudeau, Morneau and Telford have been “mismanaging” the government and allowing them to remain in positions of power would do more damage for the country than forcing Canadians to head out to cast their ballots in the midst of the pandemic.
He said he will move a motion of non-confidence in October if his demands are not met.
The Liberals won a minority government last fall, meaning they need the support of at least one other opposition party to pass legislation and survive any votes of confidence.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer ruled out trying to force a confidence vote in July, saying that decision would be left up to whoever replaces him as the new leader of the party later in August.
Peter Mackay, one of the two leading contenders for that contest, told The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson in May that a fall election was “not a priority” for the country while it tackled the virus.
But that statement was made prior to the controversy gaining steam over the decision to grant a sole-sourced contract to the WE Charity to administer a student grant program.
Global News has reached out to both MacKay’s campaign and that of Erin O’Toole, also a frontrunner in the leadership race, asking whether they would back Blanchet in a bid to bring down the government.
A spokesperson for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh suggested that party is open to continuing to support the government depending on support for key measures like Employment Insurance reform.
“The government needs to earn the confidence of Canadians in this pandemic. They do that by working with us to fix EI permanently so people get help,” said party spokesperson Melanie Richer.
“By working with us to make sure people can go back to work knowing their kids are safe at school or at child care. Those are the things we will be fighting for and be looking for as we continue to try to make parliament work. Just like we have been throughout the minority parliament.”
A spokesperson for the Green party said it would not support a push for a fall election, saying “it would be irresponsible for any party to threaten an election during a pandemic.”
“Significant changes are needed to the Election Act to ensure a safe election,” wrote Rosie Emery in an email. “The Chief Electoral Officer is preparing proposals to go to PROC in September. Public health must be a first priority.”
PROC refers to the House of Commons procedures and house affairs committee.
Trudeau and other top officials have doubled down in saying that the public service recommended WE Charity and felt it was the only group that could deliver the parameters of the program.
However, how that determination was made has not been established.
Some 5,000 pages of documents related to government decision-making on the matter have been tabled with the finance committee and are being vetted by lawyers there to determine which can be publicly released and which need to be withheld as cabinet secrets.
It’s not clear when those documents will be released.
Both Trudeau and Morneau are under investigation by the ethics commissioner for not recusing themselves from the cabinet discussions on the deal, given both have family financial ties to the group.