COVID-19: Parliament to be recalled to adopt emergency measures

The federal parliament will be recalled a second time to adopt new emergency economic measures and it will be necessary to see if the government has learned from its mistakes.
M ednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during his daily briefing that he had asked his team to contact the opposition parties on this issue, noting that the response to the crisis was to be an “effort of Team Canada “.

“It may be to recover from the mess of the past week. It was a bad start for the government and it did not show a very good image vis-à-vis the opposition parties, ”analyzes Geneviève Tellier, professor of political studies at the University of Ottawa.

Last week, the adoption of the federal plan, which should have been only a formality, turned into a marathon of negotiations after the opposition accused the government of wanting to assume unprecedented powers in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

This time, the government did not wait. He has already contacted the opposition parties to determine a date for another short return to the House of Commons, a few hours after the Conservatives asked for it.

Elected officials will examine the wage subsidy for businesses, which will cost the state $ 71 billion and which should be implemented within six weeks.

The Bloc members are ready to collaborate, but under certain conditions.

Chief Yves-François Blanchet demands that all parliamentarians have the wording of the bill in hand and agree on the final version of the bill before traveling to Ottawa. He thus wishes that the exercise be done as quickly as possible.

Blanchet criticized the government for giving in to pressure from the Conservatives last week when the Bloc members were ready to allow the government to go ahead with the wage subsidy and tax cuts without asking for a new authorization to Parliament.

“Our proposal would have saved us from coming back to Parliament,” said the leader of the Bloc. “I reiterate that partisanship must be left in the locker room,” he said, grieving that this new meeting of elected officials and senators is delaying the payment of financial assistance.

M me Tellier wonders how the opposition behaves in this new session in the Commons.

“Are they going to try to score points? It could be to the disadvantage of the opposition parties if they start to take in a bit of partisanship which is more or less well founded, I would tell you, “she said, citing as an example the governments of Quebec and Ontario who have the support of all parties in the fight against COVID-19.

“I reiterate that partisanship must be left in the locker room”
– The leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet

Already, New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh lamented on Twitter that “waiting six weeks (for the wage subsidy) will force many businesses to close.” He believes that the situation requires “a much greater emergency”.

Quebec Conservative Lieutenant Alain Rayes criticized the government’s “mismanagement” in this crisis in a press release.

“Unfortunately, today, entrepreneurs have learned that the aid measures will be delayed because the first plan presented by the Liberals and adopted in the House of Commons last week had been badly tied up and botched,” said a- he says.

No date has been put forward for returning to Parliament at this time.

The first plan

Last week, a reduced Parliament adopted an emergency economic measures plan that was supposed to be $ 82 billion to help the citizens and businesses of Canada affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. With the addition of the Canadian Emergency Benefit, the plan adopted rose to $ 107 billion.

The lion’s share of the plan included $ 55 billion in deferred taxes for businesses and individuals. In addition, $ 52 billion will be provided in aid for workers, students who have to repay their loans, in addition to funds for the health system, the homeless, women’s shelters and Aboriginal communities.

The small business wage subsidy was originally supposed to be 10%, but was increased to 75% late last week.

Prime Minister Trudeau announced on Monday that the wage subsidy will finally be distributed to any business that has lost at least 30% of its income, regardless of the number of employees. The Government of Canada will subsidize 75% of the first $ 58,700 of each salary; he could thus insure up to $ 847 per week, per employee. The measure is retroactive to March 15.

The cost for this program: $ 71 billion, which brings all federal measures to combat the economic effects of COVID-19 to $ 255 billion.

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