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The Tories and NDP aren’t calling for an election over WE Charity. Here’s why

Click to play video: 'Opposition weighs in: ‘we’re going to reignite those committees’' Opposition weighs in: ‘we’re going to reignite those committees’
WATCH: Opposition weighs in on proroguing parliament, WE controversy – Aug 23, 2020

The WE Charity scandal continues to engulf the government following one of the most tumultuous weeks in federal politics since the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic.

Opposition parties are still pushing for answers about why the Liberals gave the deal to run a student service grant to a controversial group with close financial ties to the families of both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former finance minister Bill Morneau.

But even as they do so, neither the Conservatives nor the NDP have pushed to topple the government.

In an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, NDP MP Matthew Green and Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said now is simply not the right time.

“One of the considerations that hasn’t been talked about is the fact Elections Canada has said they are ill-prepared to handle an election in COVID,” said Green. “So until all of our parties can get together and actually hash out what a clear, fair and free and democratic process would look like in an election – a hypothetical election — I don’t think we should even be flirting with it, quite frankly.”

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“Otherwise we’re going to end up in a scenario which is the dumpster fire that we see down to the south.”

The United States is embroiled in complicated, highly partisan and caustic national conversations about how best to move forward with the presidential election on Nov. 3 amid the pandemic.

Click to play video: 'Donald Trump suggests delaying U.S. election due to mail-in voting' Donald Trump suggests delaying U.S. election due to mail-in voting
Donald Trump suggests delaying U.S. election due to mail-in voting – Jul 30, 2020

Efforts by the Trump administration to cast doubts on the integrity of mail-in voting and to strip resources from the post offices which are expected to play an unprecedented central role in processing those mail-in votes have kicked off congressional hearings.

The underlying fear is that voters could be forced to gamble on either their lives or their vote.

READ MORE: What’s going on at the U.S. Postal Service? Here’s what we know

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Elections Canada is running a task force to come up with plans for holding an election during a pandemic but has said it predicts it will not be able to implement the full spectrum of measures that will likely be needed before April 2021. 

The Conservatives have also faced questions about why they have not called for an election despite fierce criticism of the government’s conduct in the WE Charity scandal.

Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has said that is a decision for his successor, set to be announced Sunday evening after weeks of mail-in voting by party members.

READ MORE: Liberals, Tories in close race on heels of WE Charity scandal, Morneau resignation

Neither Peter MacKay nor Erin O’Toole, the two leadership frontrunners, have committed to a time frame for when they might try to topple the government.

Poilievre said the party’s priority right now is uncovering as much information as possible about what happened so that they can put the full picture before voters.

“The timing of it will depend on when Canadians have all the facts,” he said.

“We wouldn’t ask the jury to go forward and render a verdict until they had seen all the evidence.”

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Click to play video: 'Documents shed new light into WE Charity affair; Conservatives accuse Liberals of coverup' Documents shed new light into WE Charity affair; Conservatives accuse Liberals of coverup
Documents shed new light into WE Charity affair; Conservatives accuse Liberals of coverup – Aug 19, 2020

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