Published: Thu, March 26, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trudeau urges parliament to pass COVID-19 bill quickly

Trudeau urges parliament to pass COVID-19 bill quickly

The PMO declined to comment on the Conservatives' description of the negotiations when contacted by iPolitics on Wednesday and instead referred to a comment from Finance Minister Bill Morneau earlier in the day in which he said extraordinary challenges necessitate extraordinary measures.

"We're also in hourly contact with the energy sector to think about how we can bridge the time by providing some sort of appropriate credit opportunities for them - and that is work that is going on right now", he said.

"The capacity is not there", said Morneau, answering questions in the Senate Wednesday morning as it deliberates on the emergency legislation.

Given this situation, all Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB to ensure they have timely access to the income support they need.

"The hard truth is that people are out of work because of this crisis and worry about what comes next", he said.

Trudeau explained why returning Canadians are not having their temperatures taken through thermometers or thermal screening after reports of travelers masking symptoms of COVID-19 in order to get back into the country.

The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.

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Health authorities, however, warned that it was still too early to confirm a decreasing trend in the ongoing pandemic. The number of recoveries had also increased, with 408 more people cured by Monday, reaching a total of 7,432.

Morneau said many times this bill is really just the first step to keep Canadians and the economy as healthy as possible in the midst of a crisis unlike any anyone has seen before. "There is nothing regular about what we are facing".

Backing from the Bloc Quebecois assures the government bill's passage. But it was recalled Tuesday to deal with the emergency aid package.

"There will be another announcement, at least, this week and that will articulate for Canadians what we think we need to invest in the face of this challenge", Morneau said in his testimony. "Our government is doing everything we can to be there for you".

The bill only needed one party's support to pass the Commons eventually but it needed the support of every MP present to be put through on the one-day schedule the Liberals wanted.

The legislation includes the amendments needed to enact the promised emergent financial package of 82 billion Canadian dollars (about $56 billion), which contain 27 billion Canadian dollars in financial aid for Canadians and 55 billion Canadian dollars in economic stimulus and tax deferral measures for businesses.

This is what an "effective Opposition" looks like, he said.

During his daily press conference outside of Rideau Cottage, the Prime Minister announced a new benefit that will give Canadians money.

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