Early this morning The House of Commons passed emergency legislation for $82 billion dollars to help support Canadians financially for the COVID-19 crisis.

 

The next step is that the bill goes to the Senate, where the Liberal government hopes for a quick passage so that it can be signed into law by the afternoon.

Parliament adjourned on March 13 until at least April 20 to curb the spread of the virus. But it was recalled Tuesday to deal with the emergency aid package.

Some of the highlights of the bill include: components to boost employment insurance, delay tax deadlines, raise the federal backstop on deposits in case a bank fails and send hundreds of millions of additional dollars to provinces for health care. It also gives the federal ministers of health and finance the power to approve spending “all money required to do anything” to deal with a public health emergency.

At his own news conference outside his residence, where he remains in self-isolation after his wife contracted COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was trying to balance the need to act quickly to help Canadians with the need to remain accountable to Parliament.

“It is an exceptional situation that requires extreme flexibility and rapidity of response by governments to be able to help Canadians and react to a situation that we’ve seen is moving quickly every single day,” he said.

He said the government was negotiating “up until the last minute” to find a way to give it the flexibility it needs to get the money into Canadians’ hands quickly while maintaining “our democratic institutions and the values that are so important to us all.”

For more information on the Government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan, visit the website HERE.

 

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