Tough negotiations between federal parties for wage subsidies
Federal political parties have still not agreed on a date for a reminder from Parliament to adopt emergency measures to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It seems that the process is blocking the level of accountability measures requested by the Conservatives.
The official opposition wants to make sure to question the ministers in public, but the government recommends instead a “virtual” Parliament which would respect measures of social distancing.
These virtual sessions could be held within four weeks, according to a letter from the Speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota, sent Wednesday to all the parliamentary leaders of the parties.
This standoff that has opposed the government and the Conservative opposition for 48 hours has been mentioned by both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, who feared that the adoption of the wage subsidy program would be delayed.
“From my point of view, it’s time to move on,” said the state’s great treasurer, expressing impatience at a press conference in Toronto Wednesday afternoon.
He insisted on the urgency of the situation, since many companies want to be sure that they will be entitled to wage subsidies before rehiring employees.
The CCP Defends Itself
Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre confirmed on Wednesday morning that his party is demanding “some form of question period” to hold the government to account for its aid measures, which are now reaching $ 257 billion. .
However, he refrained from making it a condition in support of wage subsidies.
“The only reason we come back (to Parliament), (…) is that they drafted their own law badly. This is literally the only reason. It is not the Conservative Party that is preventing the subsidy, ”added Mr. Poilievre.
“We are simply proposing that the opposition parties be able to ask questions of the ministers,” he added.
“From my point of view, it’s time to move forward”
– Minister of Finance Bill Morneau
The New Democrats say they are not blocking negotiations, but want the government to increase the wage subsidy and expand the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Benefit.
“This time we have to do it right,” said chief Jagmeet Singh in a statement.
The attitude of the Bloc Québécois, which is increasing its outings in an attempt to improve the subsidy program, was praised by Minister Morneau.
Sit on weekends?
The Speaker of the House of Commons can summon parliamentarians 48 hours after giving his approval.
A reduced number of deputies could therefore sit in the Commons at the earliest during the Easter weekend. The bill must then be passed by the Senate and receive Royal Assent.
The various parties have had a copy of the bill in their hands since Monday at the end of the day.