Government requests recall of the House of Commons to help workers and businesses during COVID-19 crisis
“Canadians are counting on all parliamentarians to work together to help them during this difficult time. Canadians are worried about their health and their jobs, and we need everyone to come together and do their part” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
News from the Office of Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Posted March 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Ottawa, Ontario – The Government of Canada is taking strong and quick action to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, stabilize our economy, and help workers and businesses as COVID-19 continues to spread.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this Sunday, March 22nd, 2020) announced that the Government House Leader has asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to recall the House in order to introduce urgent economic measures, as part of Canada’s $82 billion response to support workers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The quick passage of this legislation is important to ensure Canadians have the financial support needed during this crisis.
The House is expected to meet on Tuesday, March 24, at 12 p.m. ET.
The Government of Canada recently announced wide-ranging actions that would help ensure Canadians can pay for their rent and groceries, and help businesses pay their bills and employees during this time of uncertainty. These measures would also help Indigenous communities across the country, support young people in the repayment of their student loans, and protect people experiencing homelessness or fleeing intimate partner violence.
Members of Parliament from all parties have been clear in their desire to help Canadians, workers, and businesses experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recalling the House will give them the opportunity to come together to debate these important measures and get Canadians the immediate support they need. We are all in this together, and the Government of Canada is ready to help every Canadian during this time.
“We have to take immediate action to address the global COVID-19 pandemic, and Canadians are counting on all parliamentarians to work together to help them during this difficult time. Canadians are worried about their health and their jobs, and we need everyone to come together and do their part. I know this is a challenging time, but we will get through this crisis.” – The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“Members of the House of Commons understand the importance of coming together quickly and effectively to the benefit of all Canadians. Recalling Parliament to support Canadians now, when they need it most, demonstrates the government’s strong commitment to action.” – The Hon. Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
- In order to implement the new economic measures announced as part of its response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada must introduce legislation and seek the approval of Parliament.
- According to a motion unanimously adopted on March 13, 2020, the House of Commons may be recalled during the current period of adjournment to consider measures to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its impact on the lives of Canadians.
- The Government has been in discussions with opposition House leaders and whips to minimize the number of Members of Parliament recalled, while respecting the current proportion of party representation in the House. This follows public health guidelines about social distancing.
- A minimum of 20 Members of Parliament must be present in order for the House to exercise its powers, including passing legislation.
A Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
I have felt moved in recent days to say this about our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
I have had my doubts, concerns and criticisms of Trudeau in recent years over his handling of key issues, including climate change and his costly, counter-productive and potentially dangerous decision to spend billions of our taxdollars on purchasing a pipeline and subsidizing a tar sands industry that is going to die in this changing world anyway.
Yet, compared to that incompetent mess of a non-leader that our American neighbours now have in the White House, the leadership Canada’s Prime Minister is showing through this coronavirus crisis is looking as towering as that of Winston Churchill during the Second World War-era Battle of Britain.
When history looks back at this troubling time, it may go down as Justin Trudeau’s finest hour.
Now let’s hope that this billions of dollars in emergency assistance the federal legislature is about to pass, goes to businesses and workers that really need it and have a stake in building the future of our country and communities – and not to multi-national corporations who shove it in the pockets of their executive boards and shareholders.
And please, no more billion-dollar subsidies to carbon-polluting tar sands operations from the last century that few, if any, financial institutions around the world are willing to shell out more dollars to in this second decade of the 21st century!
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